31-team NHL

Hi all. Here’s a real quickly put together map of what the “New NHL” will likely look like. I don’t foresee the league bothering with realignment yet until they get to 32 teams (and hopefully incorporating my four-conference plan). For now Las Vegas is just added to the current 7-team Pacific. Also in case you can’t squint enough to see, the logo I threw together for the “Las Vegas Black Knights” is a quick construct of letters found in, or inspired by the ol’ classic Bicycle Cards logo.

Here it is bigger: Las-Vegas-Black-Knights-Logo

Okay, here’s the map:

NHL Las Vegas Map

Basically, the same old map I’ve been doing for a while with a little bit of flair (and the new Florida Panthers logo).

NHL Las Vegas is a reality… next up is landing on a nickname for the franchise and seeing if indeed, the league will stick with the current alignment (plus Vegas in the Pacific), or if they’ll opt for realignment and mix things up… I hope they go with something like my four-conference alignment plan. Time will tell, but for now, we’ve got a 31-team league and a new and interesting market in the mix. Good luck, Las Vegas!

Feel free to tweet/facebook/whatever this out to others.

Thanks!

— Tom

6 Responses to 31-team NHL

  1. I think it would make more sense (geographically and visually) to have Tampa Bay and Florida in a division with Carolina, Washington, Philadelphia, NJ, NYR and NYI and have that division called the Atlantic. Then have Pittsburgh and Columbus in a division with Detroit, Toronto, Buffalo, Ottawa, Montréal and Boston and have that division called the Metropolitan.

    • tom says:

      Philly and Pittsburgh would fight like hell to not be separated. Those owners have too much sway to be overridden by any “geographic common sense”.
      I’m sure in my myriad of maps I’ve split them up at least once, but my “If I were king of North America” defense allows me to overrule logic (and reality) 🙂

  2. Kandeh Williams says:

    Could’ve gone outside the box and do NFL Style with Las Vegas and Quebec City expansion.

    Constraints:
    – 3 Original Six Teams in each conference
    – 4 Canadian Teams in each conference
    – 1 Expansion Team in each conference
    – 1 NYC Team in each conference
    – 1 LA area Team in each conference
    – 1 PA team in each conference
    – 1 FLA team in each conference

    Alignments:

    WALES HOCKEY CONFERENCE (WHC)

    WHC East: Buffalo, New Jersey, NY Rangers, Philadelphia
    WHC North: Columbus, Detroit, Ottawa, Toronto
    WHC South: Colorado, Dallas, Nashville, Tampa Bay
    WHC West: Anaheim, Calgary, Edmonton, Las Vegas

    CAMPBELL HOCKEY CONFERENCE (CHC)

    CHC East: Boston, Montreal, NY Islanders, Quebec
    CHC North: Chicago, Minnesota, St. Louis, Winnipeg
    CHC South: Carolina, Florida, Pittsburgh, Washington
    CHC West: Arizona, Los Angeles, San Jose, Vancouver

    Regular Season Scheduling Matrix:

    6 games (3 Home/3 Away) each vs. all 3 divisional opponents = 18 Games

    2 games (1 Home/1 Away) each vs. all 12 non-divisional conference opponents = 24 Games

    2 games (1 Home/1 Away) each vs. all 16 non-conference opponents = 32 Games

    2 additional games (1 Home/1 Away) each vs. 3 of non-divisional conference opponents based on the previous season’s
    standings (A 1st place team in a division the previous season vs. the 1st place teams from the other 3 divisions within its
    conference the previous season, a 2nd place team in a division the previous season vs. the 2nd place teams from the other
    3 divisions within its conference the previous season, etc.) = 6 Games

    2 additional games (1 Home/1 Away) vs. permanently assigned non-conference rival opponent = 2 Games

    18 Games + 24 Games + 32 Games + 6 Games + 2 Games = 82-Game Regular Season

    The 16 Permanent Non-Conference Rivalry Pairings:
    (NY Islanders-NY Rangers), (Anaheim-Los Angeles), (Philadelphia-Pittsburgh), (Chicago-Detroit),
    (Florida-Tampa Bay), (Montreal-Toronto), (Arizona-Las Vegas), (Ottawa-Quebec), (Boston-Buffalo),
    (New Jersey-Washington), (Nashville-St. Louis), (Calgary-Vancouver), (Edmonton-Winnipeg),
    (Dallas-San Jose), (Colorado-Minnesota), (Carolina-Columbus)

    Playoffs:

    8 teams in each conference qualify for the playoffs.

    The 4 division winners in each conference are seeded 1-4 within conference in order of regular season points.

    The next 4 best records in each conference among non-division winners (wild cards) are seeded 5-8 within conference in order of regular season points.

    All series are best-of-7 using the 2-3-2 format instead to lessen travel for teams.

    Home ice to higher seeded team regardless of record (exception of Stanley Cup Finals)

    1st Round (Conference Quarterfinals): (#1 seed vs. #8 seed), (#2 seed vs. #7 seed), (#3 seed vs. #6 seed), (#4 seed vs. #5 seed)

    2nd Round (Conference Semifinals): The Conference Quarterfinal winners face off.
    (Highest Seed vs. Lowest Seed), (2nd Highest Seed vs. 2nd Lowest Seed)

    3rd Round (Conference Finals): The Conference Semifinal winners face off to yield the 2 Conference Champions.

    4th Round (Stanley Cup Finals): The 2 Conference Champions face off to yield the NHL Champion.

  3. Kandeh Williams says:

    Or you could do the 4-Conference format with Las Vegas and Quebec City expansion teams.

    Constraints:
    All Original Six Teams in One Conference.

    Alignments:

    HERITAGE CONFERENCE:

    Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Montreal, NY Rangers, Ottawa, Quebec, Toronto

    EASTERN CONFERENCE:

    Buffalo, Carolina, Columbus, New Jersey, NY Islanders, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington

    CENTRAL CONFERENCE:

    Colorado, Dallas, Florida, Minnesota, Nashville, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Winnipeg

    WESTERN CONFERENCE:

    Anaheim, Arizona, Calgary, Edmonton, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Jose, Vancouver

    REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULING MATRIX:

    Non-Conference Play

    2 Games (1 Home / 1 Away) vs. each of 24 opponents outside conference = 48 Games

    In-Conference Play:

    5 Games each (3 Home / 2 Away or 2 Home / 3 Away) vs. 6 of opponents within Conference =30 Games
    4 Games (2 Home / 2 Away) vs. 1 of opponents within Conference = 4 Games
    Games played on a rotating basis each year.

    Total = 48 Games + 30 Games + 4 Games = 82 Games

    PLAYOFFS:

    Top 4 teams in each conference qualify for playoffs.

    All series best-of-7 using the 2-2-1-1-1 format.

    1st Round (Conference Semifinals): (#1 seed vs. #4 seed), (#2 seed vs. #3 seed)

    2nd Round (Conference Finals): The Conference Semifinal winners face off to yield the 4 Conference Champions

    3rd Round (Stanley Cup Semi Finals): The 4 Conference Champions are reseeded by record
    (#1 seed vs. #4 seed), (#2 seed vs. #3 seed)

    4th Round (Stanley Cup Finals): The 2 Stanley Cup Semi Finals Winners face off to yield the NHL Champion.

  4. Erin Gurski says:

    Hi Tom,

    This is great! Very well illustrated. The Museum I work for is interested in including your map as part of one of our upcoming exhibitions. If you are interested, please contact me using the e-mail address below!

    erin.gurski@historymuseum.ca

    Thanks,
    Erin

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