NHL Realignment Project – Week 22

NHL Realignment Project - Week 22


Week twenty-two in the NHL Realignment Project has a “country” flavor to it.  The main thing we’re doing differently this week is how we arrived at our honorific division names. The NHL is mostly made up of North American players and European, right? So I took the two (present-day) countries from each continent that have provided us our leading scorers… Canada/US and Czech Republic/Slovakia. The divisions are named after each of those nation’s leading scorer… Wayne Gretzky, Mike Modano, Jaromir Jagr and Stan Mikita.

In addition to the awesome naming, we’ve gone with a horizontal formatting for dividing up the league. And contracted the two teams that had the lowest average attendance last year (Islanders and Coyotes) to get us to a more divisible 28 teams.

The Map:

NHL Realignment Map - Week 22

NHL Realignment Map - Week 22

The Breakdown:

Northern Conference

– Gretzky Division: Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg

– Mikita Division: Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York

Southern Conference

–  Jagr Division: Colorado, Columbus, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Jose, St. Louis, Washington

– Modano Division:  Anaheim, Carolina, Dallas, Florida, Los Angeles, Nashville, Tampa Bay


Gained teams:


Lost teams:

New York Islanders, Phoenix Coyotes


The Benefits:

• Respect — Hockey is a global game… and stars from various countries have made the game grow at home and abroad. With these division names, we do a major hat tip to that.

• Division Pride —  Having a division that is “Canada-only”, one that is “all-South”, one that has four of the Original Six, and one that has the leagues two biggest stars (not to mention the most cup-hungry fans (San Jose)) will give each division its own unique brand and identity. The rivalries within each, and the pride across each would be an interesting dynamic to watch.

• Rivalries — I did my best to keep some great rivalries intact. PIT/PHI, NYR/BOS, TOR/MTL, CGY/EDM, ANA/LAK to name a few. I’d build a non-division schedule where everyone played everyone else at least once at home and once away… that way other big rivalries can still live on as well.

• Travel — 3 of the 4 divisions have coast-to-coast representation. So everyone is gonna have to travel a bunch. Only the Mikita Division has just two time-zones represented… but there is a really good chance that in a subsequent (*COUGH* NEXTSUNDAY *COUGH*) NHLRP map, an expansion will remedy this.

• Modano Retirement — Since Modo recently retired, I felt it appropriate to hit him up with a shoutout… thanks for making hockey work in Texas… thanks for being a class act… thanks for inspiring us, Mike.


(H/T to oilersnation.com for the original map)


See you next week (gonna try to post every Sunday moving forward, so put it on your calendar)!

— TF

Make sure to check out the entire NHL Realignment Project ».


3 Responses to NHL Realignment Project – Week 22

  1. james says:

    the only alignment that makes sense to me is to put the original 6 teams in one division , who wouldnt want to see detroit -toronto ,6 times a year . I have also thrown around a re legation scenario much like english soccer . owners would want to win if they had that much $$ on the line ,

    • tom says:

      Funny you should mention that… in the next 2-3 weeks I plan on creating a scenario that does include an “Original Six” division. Make sure to check back.

      As far as a soccer-style relegation/promotion setup, being a fan of soccer (Brazilian League), I’ve often pondered how that would go over in America. Of course the powers of the big four leagues would never approve a change that included relegation, but I definitely believe the pressure of losing “top-league” status (and the dollars that come with it) would make things very interesting indeed. Perhaps I’ll draw up a scenario in the coming weeks for an NHL/AHL scenario that does just that.

      Thanks for the comments!

  2. Pingback: » NHL Realignment Project – Week 23 Tom Fulery – The Home Of The NHL Realignment Project

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.