NHL Realignment Project – Week 26

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NHL Realignment Project - Week 26

Oh Six (One Last Time)

It’s hard to believe, but we’re HALF WAY THROUGH our lil’ project. Week 26 sees us visit our “Original Six” theme a final time… I promise, next week we’ll be going in a different direction again. Similar to last week, we’ve upped the number of teams in the league to 36 teams. We’re breaking the league down into six divisions of six teams each—one of which is made up of all of the Original Six teams.

This week we’ve changed up the map just a bit. The clustering along the east coast is a little less confusing. The non-original-six NYC-area teams have joined the lower-coast teams (Caps, Canes, and the Florida teams) in a division. Along with that change, the Pennsylvania-duo join the Sabres, Jackets, Sens and Nordiques to round out the Eastern Conference.

The West is pretty clean as is, so we’ve left it along this week. Let’s check out what we’ve got…

 

The Map:

NHL Realignment Map - Week 26

NHL Realignment Map - Week 26

 

The Breakdown:

EASTERN CONFERENCE:

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

Bossy Division: Carolina, Florida, New Jersy, New York Islanders, Tampa Bay, Washington

Lemieux Division: Buffalo, Columbus, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Quebec

WESTERN CONFERENCE:

Hull Division: Dallas, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Minnesota, Nashville, St. Louis

Gretzky Division: Calgary, Edmonton, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, Winnipeg

Dionne Division: Anaheim, Colorado, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Jose

 

Gained teams:

Kansas City, Las Vegas, Milwaukee, Quebec, Portland, Seattle

 

Lost teams:

none

 

The Benefits:

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

• Travel — Other than Winnipeg (sorry guys), nobody has an in-division rival more than one time-zone over.

• Rivalries —  Even though Winnipeg is kinda screwed on travel, they do get a whole heapin’ mess’o rivals to content with. The Alberta teams and Vancouver are all in-division, through in what will sure turn into an awesome rivalry in Seattle/Portland, and the Gretzky division will be amazing. Cali, Colorado and the two desert cities will be great too. Oh, but wait, there will be a great Missouri rivalry… oh and Dallas/Minnesota have history… jeez, there’s also the current Southeast Division, but now with the awesome PIT/PHI rivalry… NYI/NJ will intensify… Quebec and Ottawa will heat up too. All awesome rivalry gold — oh and hey, and we haven’t even mentioned the original six!

 

Since this week is very similar to last week, as far as structure goes, I can work out the scheduling too. Here we go…

6 games against five in-divsion opponents = 30 games

2 games against thirty non-division opponents = 60 games

Well that was easy… other than the objection that the player’s union will have with 8 extra games on the schedule, we get the benefit of every team playing in every building. The shape that guys are in these days, they can handle 8 more games… plus the extra revenue  generated will find their way into those pockets anyhow. Another plus… MORE HOCKEY. Sold.

 

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

 

Until next Sunday!

— TF

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


 

NHL Realignment Project – Week 25

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NHL Realignment Project - Week 25

Oh Six (Times Six)!

This week on the NHL Realignment Project we once again fool around with the idea that the Original Six deserve their own division/conference/whatever. Unlike last week where we had to contract six teams to get to an divisble-by-six (and still be an even number) to get this to work out in a manageable way, this week we’ve gone the other way… expanded to 36 teams (math still works, see?)

So our new 36-team NHL has two conferences, each made up of 3 divisions… Original Six, Gretzky, Dionne, Hull, Lemieux and Bossy. There’s a bit of a log-jam up in the top-right of the map… but keeping PIT and PHI together and NYI and NJ together is worth the spaghetti-look that we’ve created. Extra bonus, this week for Buffalo fans, you are no longer in a division name for a Hull.

Playoffs would be pretty similar to the current setup, except I’d qualify the top two teams in each division and then have two more next-best-records wildcard teams to round out each conferences 8 playoff qualifiers.

It’s been a while since I’ve referenced it, but for those of you out there ready to argue that there is no way the NHL can go to 36 teams, first, I’d say, “this week’s scenario is admittedly farcical” and if necessary, I’d then invoke the King of North America Defense.

 

The Map:

NHL Realignment Map - Week 25

NHL Realignment Map - Week 25

The Breakdown:

EASTERN CONFERENCE:

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

Lemieux Division: Carolina, Florida, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Washington

Bossy Division: Buffalo, Columbus, New Jersey, New York Islanders, Ottawa, Quebec

WESTERN CONFERENCE:

Hull Division: Dallas, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Minnesota, Nashville, St. Louis

Gretzky Division: Calgary, Edmonton, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, Winnipeg

Dionne Division: Anaheim, Colorado, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Jose

 

Gained teams:

Kansas City, Las Vegas, Milwaukee, Quebec, Portland, Seattle

 

Lost teams:

none

 

The Benefits:

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

• Travel — Other than Winnipeg (sorry guys), nobody has an in-division rival more than one time-zone over.

• Rivalries —  Even though Winnipeg is kinda screwed on travel, they do get a whole heapin’ mess’o rivals to content with. The Alberta teams and Vancouver are all in-division, through in what will sure turn into an awesome rivalry in Seattle/Portland, and the Gretzky division will be amazing. Cali, Colorado and the two desert cities will be great too. Oh, but wait, there will be a great Missouri rivalry… oh and Dallas/Minnesota have history… jeez, there’s also the current Southeast Division, but now with the awesome PIT/PHI rivalry… NYI/NJ will intensify… Quebec and Ottawa will heat up too. All awesome rivalry gold — oh and hey, and we haven’t even mentioned the original six!

 

Too tired to think through scheduling scenarios, but with this many teams, I’m thinking that we probably wouldn’t be able to see every team both home and away each season. Perhaps, but like I said to tired to think it through. Other than that… I like this little fantasy. Hope you did too.

 

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

 

Until next Sunday!

— TF

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


NHL Realignment Project – Week 7

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NHL Realignment Project — Week Seven

Week 7 – Bigger is Better

Busy work week delayed this week’s entry, but here it is. This week, we go all kinds of crazy. We throw caution to the wind and make the NHL the biggest league in North American professional sports — 36 teams!

Florida’s unbelievable movement on the first day of free-agency has inspired me to remove them (for now) from being on the list of teams that gets relocated pretty much every week. In fact, the only team that got relocated this week was the Phoenix Coyotes (poor, Glendale).

NHL Realignment Map - Week 7

NHL Realignment Map - Week Seven

Gained teams:

Houston, Seattle, Portland, Quebec City, Hamilton, Kansas City, Las Vegas

Lost teams:

Phoenix

Benefits:

• We’re the biggest! — Niche sport, my ass! This NHL is bigger than the NFL… four teams bigger. People will argue about talent levels, attendance numbers, blah, blah, blah… but again refer to my King of North America Defense. This is totally a fantasy world… but oh what a fun one it’d be.

• Somewhat less travel — It’s not as buttoned-up as last week’s effort, but it’s still pretty good. Divisional games for teams in the Hull Division would always be Central Time Zone accept for when Colorado is involved. Gretzky Divisions teams never go to the Central Time Zone for divisional games, just Pacific and Mountain Time Zones. Both divisions of the Eastern Conference are entirely within the Eastern Time Zone. Much better than now (for almost everyone)… sorry, Avalanche.

• Detroit and Columbus outta the West — Same as last week… Wings and Blue Jackets finally get their  wish.

• Canadian Teams Galore — Hamilton and Quebec (re)join the NHL, bringing the number of Canadian teams up to nine.

• Better Geographic Distribution — By adding four teams to the West vs. two teams for the East, we have a little more balanced league, geographically speaking. Nice little clusters of cities start to emerge allowing for lots of outta-town road trips to see your team play. Portland/Seattle/Vancouver… Edmonton/Calgary… San Jose/Las Vegas/LA/Anaheim… Dallas/Houston… KC/St. Louis… pretty much everyone in the Northeastern US and Eastern Canada.

(h/t to oilersnation.com for the original map)

See you next week!

— TF


 

 

 

NHL Realignment Project – Week 4

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NHL Realignment Project — Week Four

Week 4 – The Devil You Say!

All apologies to Kevin Smith, but this week, the biggest victims are the New Jersey Devils. The Devils have underachieved in attendance forever, and there are just too many teams in the Greater NYC area. In this make believe world, I could just has easily taken the axe to the Islanders, but let’s say they’ve just signed an agreement to move to the new arena in Brooklyn, so they stay.

I’m sure in a future installment, I’ll move the four-time champs instead of the three time champs.

Anyhoo, I’ll be sticking with the 30-team (with 9 in Canada) set up for this week again. Unlike last week, we’ve kept the sunny states in the mix, though. And GASP… Phoenix has kept their team!

There’s been a little bit of a change in my homage division names. This week, Orr is out and Richard is in, plus there are more divisions, so we’ve added Lemieux and Dionne.

NHL Realignment Map - Week 4

NHL Realignment Map - Week Four

 

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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