NHL Realignment Project – Week 24

NHL Realignment Project - Week 24

Oh Six!

This week on the NHL Realignment Project we are finally getting around to creating a scenario where the Original Six get their own division. To get this to work out in a more manageable way, we had to do a major contraction of the NHL… down to 24 teams. It was either this or go up to 36 (can you say, “Week 25 foreshadowing?”).

So our new 24-team NHL has four conferences… Original Six, Gretzky, Lemieux and Hull. Each conference would qualify four teams for the playoffs, play down to a conference champion… then we would have a “Final Four” league semi-final where the team with the best regular season record of the four left standing would choose its opponent.

The Map:

NHL Realignment Map - Week 24

NHL Realignment Map - Week 24

The Breakdown:

Original Six Conference: Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Montreal, New York, Toronto

Lemieux Conference: Carolina, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Washington

Hull Conference: Buffalo, Dallas, Minnesota, Ottawa, St. Louis, Winnipeg

Gretzky Conference: Calgary, Colorado, Edmonton, Los Angeles, San Jose, Vancouver


Gained teams:



Lost teams:

Anaheim, Columbus, Florida, Nashville, New York Islanders, Phoenix


The Benefits:

• Tradition — The Original Six finally gets the recognition they deserve with their own conference. Major rivalries such as PIT/PHI,  LAK/SJ, EDM/CGY to name a few have been maintained in-conference.

• Travel — Conferences span no more than two time-zones. Eastern and Central Time Zone teams have a minimized slate of games starting super-late because of Pacific Time Zone locations… the same goes for Pacific and Mountain Time Zone teams playing super-early because of Eastern Time Zone locations.

• Talent — Killing off six teams will result in a major uptick in talent level as the surveying teams split the spoils. Ponder and love on this: the term “Top 9 Forward” will come in to use!


Scheduling Notes:

36 outside conference (1 home/1 away vs each of the 18 opponents)

40 in-conference (4 home/4 away vs. each of the 5 opponents)

6 extra games outside conference (1 home/1 away vs 3 teams in another conference… to rotate through all 18 non-conference opponents every 6 six years)


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


See you next Sunday!

— TF

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

5 Responses to NHL Realignment Project – Week 24

  1. Great idea! I love the idea of an O6 Division, it sure would make for a lot of great games. I think the problem is that we couldn’t see an O6 Final. I know we haven’t had one since the 70s, but it is a fun idea to think about every year.

    I mean, how cool would it have been if Detroit had have completed their comeback against the Sharks, beaten Vancouver, and then go to face Boston in the finals? Every fan (not in Vancouver or San Jose) would go nuts for it!

    Did you consider an NFL style development to the schedule? Maybe those extra 6 games could go to the teams in the other conference that finished in the same position. This would give the good teams some huge games and the bad teams a chance to improve. Also, some rivalries could be developed at the top of the standings.

    Ohh and small thing, but I think that Nashville would be a better team to keep than Carolina, but I understand that it’s pretty much 6 to 1, half a dozen the other.

    • tom says:

      Thanks for the comments, Russell. I had all the same considerations you bring up… no O6 finals; which teams to contract (Carolina and Dallas were both on the block, when I finally went with Nashville); What to do with the extra six games.

      I like you NFL-style scheduling idea. Definitely a (proven) concept to consider. My consolation on the “no O6 finals” issue was that at least we’re guaranteed an O6 in the final four every single year. Nothing makes me sadder than to get to the (current) conference finals and have the big boys completely shut out as in 2006, 2004, 2003, 2001 and 2000.

      Perhaps in future weeks I’ll find a way to evenly split the O6 into two conferences to up the chances for an amazing final. 🙂

      Thanks again for reading!

      – TeeEff

  2. Joe says:

    Week 24 post…Boston counted as 1 of 24 teams, but omitted from the Original Six list.

    • tom says:

      Oops. Good catch, Joe.
      Fixed now. My wife was none-to-happy about that omission.


  3. Pingback: » NHL Realignment Project – Week 25 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.