Hockey, Hollywood and Fanboys

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Friends Busted For Fire Hydrant Backyard Ice Hockey Rink | ThePostGame

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Gotta love hockey-folk:

Via Yahoo!:

Friends Busted For Fire Hydrant Backyard Ice Hockey Rink | ThePostGame.

Leading Off: What’s Gotten Into Hockey? – NYTimes.com

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Even the NY Times is commenting on this crazy (so far) NHL season:

 

Leading Off: What’s Gotten Into Hockey? – NYTimes.com.

NHL Playoff Format

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NHL Playoff Format

Just for the record, (and despite all my NHL Realignment Shenanigans), I do have a single opinion and stance on how the NHL should operate once they realign in 2012 (my crazy options all apply once the NHL decides to relocate any franchise or realign yet again).

What should happen in 2012:

- There should be four divisions of 7 or 8 teams each. 

- Detroit (and even Columbus) should move to the Eastern Conference.

- The top four teams in each division should qualify for the playoffs.

- The first two rounds of the playoffs should determine the Division Champions

- The third round of the playoffs should be between Division Champions and determine the Conference Champions 

- The final round of the playoffs should be between Conference Champions and determine the Stanley Cup Champions 

- Any team that finishes fifth, sixth, seventh or eighth in their division and complains about “having a better record than a playoff qualifier in another division” should get over it, shut up, and be thankful they aren’t in college football.

Divisional games and rivalries will get even more intense and hockey will be at least a little bit different than basketball (a very good thing).

That is all. Just wanted to make it clear.

—TF

NHL Realignment Project – Week 2

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NHL Realignment Project — Week Two
Week 2 — Phoenix to Seattle

Welcome  back, true believers. Week two is upon us. This week we’ll look at a slightly more plausible scenario for the NHL’s 2012-2013 season. The league stays at the current 30-team count and the only team joining the Winnipeg team in relocation (now with a Jets logo on the map), is the Seattle Coyotes.

Almost everyone seems to agree that the “save” that Glendale/NHL team was able to perform this year is more of a “save with a fat rebound that will be slammed home” next year. So I’m moving ‘em. Just like Week One, the Coyotes are going to Seattle. Hamilton, Quebec, KC and Las Vegas will have to wait (for now).

The 30-team league breaks down into Eastern and Western Conferences again. Each conference has two divisions. I tried labeling the divisions geographically at first, but it didn’t seem right to have Detroit and Columbus in a “Southeast” Division, so I went with (arguably) the biggest names to play for a team in the new divisions… Gretzky, Hull, Orr and Howe. I’ll let sons and fathers argue over which Hull we’re talking about. :)

Seeing how 30 isn’t divisible by 4, and how my number one goal for this realignment was to get all Eastern Time Zone teams into the Eastern Conference I’ve gone with an unbalanced lineup. The two Eastern Divisions each have 8 teams, while the two Western Divisions each have 7 teams. Anyone who doesn’t like this, please refer to my King of North America Defense again.

So after that long intro, here are the goods:

Gained teams:

Seattle

Lost teams:

Phoenix

Benefits:

• Time Zone Harmony — Much to the delight of TV-watching fans, Time Zone insanity has been nearly eliminated. Only three teams have to leave their time zone for divisional road games… and exactly zero teams have to travel more than one time zone away for those same games (again, Dallas and Minnesota, you’re welcome).

• Fairer travel — Extension of the first benefit. Like last week’s plan, this mitigates some of the unfair travel strain placed on teams with the current league lineup. Sure, Western teams will still have to travel more often than their Eastern brothers, but geography and population clusters make a pure balance pretty much impossible. This is better than the current plan.

• New rivalries — Seattle becomes a natural rival for Vancouver. Detroit, Philly and Pittsburgh bring some gravitas to a reasonably young set of teams in the Howe Division… not to mention Penguins developing a thirst for proving to the Wings that Lemieux was snubbed in the division naming process. Dallas and Minnesota get to play more often and hash out their “you stole our team/suck it, we’re better” feud. Throw in a new Jets/Blues/Stars “they mean OUR Hull” rivalry and we’ve got some good stuff.

 

NHL Realignment Map - Week 2

NHL Realignment Project — Week Two

And there you have it. Off to bed (and to ponder next week’s realignment).

— Tom Fulery

 

NHL Realignment Project – Week 1

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NHL Realignment Project — Week One

Week 1 – Moving and Shaking (and Expanding)

What timing… the day I launch my first of 52 (or more) weekly NHL realignment options, the NHL made it official (pending BOG approval), the sale and move of the Thrashers franchise to Winnipeg, so no need to include Winnipeg/Atlanta in my potential gained/lost descriptions. Serendipity, baby.

Anywhoo. Here’s my first realignment, and accompanying maps (special thanks to oilersnation.com for the map). Too nulify any “that can’t happen” arguments, please refer to my “King of North America” defense.

In Week One, we look an NHL that has expanded to 32 teams. Westward ho! Three new teams west of the Mighty Mississippi help provide a bit more balance to the geographical layout of the NHL. That coupled with Winnipeg now being in the Western Conference, means that 15 of the 16 teams in the Eastern Conference are in the Eastern Time Zone (newly transferred Nashville is the exception). I chose to leave Detroit in the West to help maintain some bitter rivalries with Chicago and Colorado (and to a lesser extent Dallas, Minnesota and St. Louis). This will undoubtedly not be the case in some of my subsequent realignments in the coming weeks.

Gained teams:

Las Vegas, Seattle, Quebec City, Kansas City

Lost teams:

Florida, Phoenix

Benefits:

• Hitting the magic number of 32 franchises — It becomes easier to divide the teams up into four or eight divisions.

• Fairer travel — This mitigates some of the unfair travel strain placed on teams with the current league lineup. Sure, Western teams will still have to travel more often than their Eastern brothers, but geography and demographics make a pure balance pretty much impossible. This plan’s focus on adding teams mostly out west, makes things a little better for some long-frustrated franchises (I’m looking at you Minnesota and Dallas).

• More rivalries — Kansas City comes onboard to piss off St. Louis Blues fans. Seattle takes up the Phoenix franchise and becomes a natural rival for Vancouver. Same thing for Quebec City and Montreal.

 

NHL Realignment Map 1a

NHL Realignment Project — Week One (Map A)

Eastern and Western Conferences—each with 4 Divisions

or

NHL Realignment Map 1b

NHL Realignment Project — Week One (Map B)

Eastern and Western Conferences—each with 2 Divisions

 

And we’re off to a fun start. See you next week!

— Tom Fulery

My latest NHL Realignment Nonsense

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NHL Logo

Add my name to the list of idiot bloggers trying to rework the NHL.

Basically, five markets lose their franchises and three markets gain them (or regain them). I’m not saying a team is “moving” because that gets into the age-old debate of whether franchise records/stats travel with the team. So, no.

In my league, if you leave your media market, you are an expansion team. Pay expansion fees again, bitch. That way if you are an owner who has been unable to generate success in a market, you don’t get to (golden) parachute into a new market and enjoy the pillaging of that city/arena for a year or two and then sell you team (Norm Green). I bet the Islanders could loophole their way over to Brooklyn or Queens, which is less bad… but I digress.

My new NHL has 28 teams divided into two conferences each with two 7-team divisions. I have two versions of this plan (one with Winnipeg, Quebec City and Seattle getting teams, and the other with Winnipeg, Quebec City and Hamilton getting teams. Either way, Florida, Tampa Bay, Columbus and Phoenix cease operations. Those cities could eventually reapply for teams, but only when the NHL is strong enough to expand sensibly.

————————— OPTION ONE ——————————

WESTERN CONFERENCE EASTERN CONFERENCE
Gretzky Division Orr Division
1. Anaheim Ducks 1. Boston Bruins
2. Calgary Flames 2. Montreal Canadiens
3. Edmonton Oilers 3. New Jersey Devils
4. Los Angeles Kings 4. New York Islanders
5. San Jose Sharks 5. New York Rangers
6. Seattle Shamrocks 6. Ottawa Senators
7. Vancouver Canucks 7. Quebec Royales
Hull Division Howe Division
1. Chicago Blackhawks 1. Buffalo Sabres
2. Colorado Avalanche 2. Carolina Hurricanes
3. Dallas Stars 3. Detroit Red Wings
4. Minnesota Wild 4. Philadelphia Flyers
5. Nashville Predators 5. Pittsburgh Penguins
6. St. Louis Blues 6. Toronto Maple Leafs
7. Winnipeg Wolverines 7. Washington Capitals

 

————————— OPTION TWO ——————————

WESTERN CONFERENCE

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Gretzky Division Orr Division
1. Anaheim Ducks 1. Boston Bruins
2. Colorado Avalanche 2. Montreal Canadiens
3. Calgary Flames 3. New Jersey Devils
4. Edmonton Oilers 4. New York Islanders
5. Los Angeles Kings 5. New York Rangers
6. San Jose Sharks 6. Ottawa Senators
7. Vancouver Canucks 7. Quebec Royales
Howe Division Sawchuk Division
1. Chicago Blackhawks 1. Buffalo Sabres
2. Dallas Stars 2. Carolina Hurricanes
3. Detroit Red Wings 3. Hamilton Lynx
4. Minnesota Wild 4. Philadelphia Flyers
5. Nashville Predators 5. Pittsburgh Penguins
6. St. Louis Blues 6. Toronto Maple Leafs
7. Winnipeg Wolverines 7. Washington Capitals

 

 

To piggy-back off the idea from an earlier post , the 82-game schedule would have to be reworked. I would break it down like this:

- One home and one away game against each non-divisional opponent, regardless of conference — 42 games.

- Three home and three away games agains each non-division opponent within conference — 36 games.

- One more home and one more away game against two non-conference opponent (one in each division) — 4 games… So, each year, the two opponents in this last batch of four games would change, cycling through all opponents after seven seasons.

 

Wouldn’t it be great if the league was “locked” during that seven year run? No expansion. Ownership changes and/or new arenas in the teams current market are allowed, but that’s it.

That’s it. I’m sure everyone will hate it, but that’s the nature of the beast. Bring on the criticism.

—TF

PS—When I get around to it, I’ll create a map with these two “new league breakdowns”… anyone care to create Seattle, Quebec, Hamilton and Winnipeg logos?

Dallas Stars Sale: Conflicting Reports on Doug Miller Offer – Defending Big D

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Be it Doug Miller or Mark Cuban or Santa Claus. The next few years hang in the balance. An elite player like Brad Richards who actually likes the city he’s in and is willing to stay if new ownership comes along… gotta make it happen.

Please.

— TF


 

Via DefendingBigD.com (images added by a fool):

Dallas Stars Sale: Conflicting Reports on Doug Miller Offer – Defending Big D.

Dallas Stars LogoMark Cuban


The Stars might make the playoffs this season. They might re-sign Brad Richards. A lot of things might happen, but unless they actually win the Stanley Cup, the sale of this team is the single most important thing that will take place in 2011. So our ears are perked and we’re listening intently, even if the information is nebulous, conflicting and confusing…

Read the full story on DefendingBigD.com »