Week 3 – Damn, that’s Cold
Okay, I’m going a bit radical this week. This one is for all those anti-southern city folks.
NOTE: I am not one of the anti-southern city peeps. I live in Texas, after all.
So basically, with this plan, we’ve decided that the NHL hockey is a purely niche sport that has no place in the warmer climates where there isn’t a culture of hockey, or at least a cold enough winter to cultivate one. Niche sport means niche salaries, so some of the smaller market teams could survive with a slightly lower salary cap. My completely arbitrary line of demarcation (other than the fact it is used as a border for quite a few states) is the 37th parallel north. Four former champs (Stars, Hurricanes, Lightning, Ducks) get bounced, not to mention another runner-up (Kings). Damn, that’s cold. Oh well.
Sticking with the current 30-team makeup… just relocating current further north. Also sticking with Week Two’s division names.
NHL Realignment Project — Week Three
Quebec City, Portland, Sacramento, Kansas City, Seattle, Indiana, Salt Lake, Hamilton
Dallas, Tampa Bay, Florida, Nashville, Carolina, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Anaheim
Honestly, not all that much. That being said, here we go:
• Easier support for/from youth leagues. — With longer winters (a.k.a. less outdoor sport competition), youth hockey leagues and grassroots interest in the sport can thrive more than in the South.
• More Canadian teams — Hamilton and Quebec City join the league bringing the home of hockey up to 9 teams.
• Interesting(?) new rivalries — Sacramento/San Jose, Portland/Seattle, Seattle/Vancouver, KC/St. Louis, Toronto/Hamilton, Quebec City/Montreal, Salt Lake/Colorado (admittedly inter-divisional)
• More balanced East/West — Decent split geographically, allowing for the Wings and Blue Jackets to be Eastern Time Zone teams in the Eastern Conference. Indiana is (at least a tiny portion) partially in the Central Time Zone… so that’s my excuse for the team in Indianapolis.
Fear not, Texas/Florida/Carolina/SoCal/Tennessee/Arizona folks… a change this drastic can never happen. There are just too many people and money south of the 37th. But don’t get too cozy, Phoenix and Miami, there’s a really good chance you’ll be losing your teams in the next 1-3 years. D’oh! (h/t to oilersnation.com for the original map)
Until next week!