Getting Vertical, Eh!
Only a day late this week! Getting better.
So this week we’re not quite as farcical as in the past few weeks, but haven’t completely re-entered the world of “reality-based” realignment either. This week’s theme is all about going Canadian. By relocating some teams and re-jiggering the divisional alignments, we’ve been able to get at least one Canadian team in each division. Let’s have a look at how this plays out.
The Map (Complete with goofball division names based on landmarks found at the border):
- NHL Realignment Map – Week 36
We’re going with the current 2 conferences of 3 divisions each format. The conferences are named for Gretzky and Orr while the division names are a little more fun—they are named for landmarks found at the borders, more-or-less where one might cross to visit the Canadian team(s) in your division… well, if the boys weren’t crossing tens-of-thousands of feet overhead in first-class luxury. This includes border straddling bridges, airports, monuments, etc. Obviously this would never fly, but whatever. Its fun.
|The Wayne Douglas Gretzky Conference
|Los Angeles Kings
|San Jose Sharks
||Las Vegas Scorpions
||St. Louis Blues
|The Robert Gordon Orr Conference
|Detroit Red Wings
||New Jersey Devils
|Tampa Bay Lightning
||New York Rangers
|Toronto Maple Leafs
Seattle, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas
Phoenix, Long Island, Columbus
• Equality — Every team has to travel to Canada for divisional games (Las Vegas, Colorado and Utah need to do it a little more often… but I wasn’t about to break up the Alberta rivalry). Every division is stretched vertically (the two easternmost a little less, but still somewhat stretchy), so that is reasonably equal as well. All this means that nobody can whine about “Our travel leaves us as a massive disadvantage”. Even previously all alone Colorado gets a fairly near neighbor in the new Salt Lake City franchise.
• Travel — North-South is the way. Divisional games may necessitate long trips, but again, staying within one time-zone makes all the difference for player fatigue and for TV ratings.
• Rivalries — Though we lose CHI/DET, we do get TOR/DET… not bad. The NYR/NJD, the Alberta teams, Pennsylvania teams, and BOS/MTL all stay together too, so check that off your list. All apologies to fans who live for the BUF/TOR games, but somebody has to sacrifice for the good of the league, right?
Divisional Games: 3 home & 3 away vs. 4 teams = 24 games
Non-Divisional Games: 1 home & 1 away vs. 25 teams = 50 games
One additional home-and-away series against a conference opponent from each of the two divisions not your own (a five-year cycle that rotates through the conference) = 4 games
TOTAL = 78 games (bonus: we get to the playoffs quicker)
Same as current format.
Don’t forget to share our lil’ project with your hockey fan friends. And, as always, thanks for reading. Until next Sunday!