NHL realignment, she is official


Done deal: next season the NHL will look a little bit different, with the Red Wings and Blue Jackets heading to the Eastern Conference, and the Winnipeg Jets heading West. I gotta say: if you’re the Islanders, dealing with the Penguins, Flyers, Devils and Rangers every year, mixing in the Blue Jackets, Capitals and Hurricanes doesn’t sound so awful.

Anyway, above is the graphic from NHL.com – more on this in a bit!

Comments (23)

  1. I love this map because it really shows how at the end of this whole thing they were like “Fuck we totally forgot about those two shitty teams in Florida, oh well we’ll just put them oveeeeer….. HERE!”

    • PS I love how everyones first thought is “Well the Islanders are going to love this!”

      • My first thought was “that’s really dumb” because of the whole 14/16 split. I mean, just put Colorado in Group A, and then either Detroit or Columbus in Group B.

        I think the Florida thing is really smart though. Imagine the extra revenue they’ll get from all the snowbirds when they host Montreal and Toronto more often..

        • I wonder if there’s something to that. Last time I went to a Habs game at BAC it was easily 80% canadian plates in the parking lot and the vast majority of conversations around the arena were in French.

  2. I like this – add two Western teams…Seattle and Sasketween, move Phoenix to KC. Then move Florida to Quebec in the east

    • I get what you’re saying, but I don’t like the idea of leaving Tampa Bay by themselves as the only Southern team in that New Northeast division. If you do relocate Florida to Quebec City (not that I’m advocating the move) then I think you need to move a team from the New Atlantic to the New Northeast and let Tampa Bay play in the New Atlantic.

      That said, I don’t think Florida will be relocating any time soon. Unlike the current situation in Phoenix or the situation that sent Atlanta to Winnipeg, there isn’t a problem with ownership for the Panthers that would lead to them moving. In fact, the only team I can think of in the East with serious ownership issues is the New York Islanders.

      • The Panther’s problem isn’t the location, it’s that they can’t field a &*%&ing decent team. They’ve only made the playoffs like two or three times in their history!

  3. I like how the Green Division A for whatever reason includes New Mexico. Maybe the NHL is planning on sending a team to Albuquerque.

  4. I hope Vancouver enjoys it’s last Presidents trophy for a while!

  5. It seems as though the NHL gave a toddler a map of North America and some crayons and let them at it

  6. Looks ok to me, but in the west I would like to see the old western league format, Seattle, Portland and San Diego when possible that was a super good league before Canucks joined NHL in 1970

  7. Not sure why Florida and Tampa Bay didn’t go to Division D and the Rangers and Islanders to Division C if it was truly a geographic based realignment?

    • The realignment is partially geographic, but also partially designed to optimize TV ratings as well. The league is looking to maximize rivalry games and keeping the Rangers in-division with the Devils and Flyers helps that out a ton. I don’t think that a Rangers/Bruins rivalry would have nearly as much flair as Yankees/Sox or Knicks/Celtics because there isn’t a real tradition of rivalry there. The New Northeast will be fine with Detroit/Toronto and Montreal/Boston as its big-ticket rivalry games.

      Does it stink that Florida and Tampa have to travel so far to play “in-division?” Sure, but look at the Western Conference divisions: Phoenix to Edmonton is actually worse than Florida to Montreal and Dallas to Winnipeg comes pretty close. So the idea that Florida and Tampa should be entitled to easier travel doesn’t really hold up.

  8. This is so stupid. The only thing the NHL had almost right was its conference alignment and playoff format, and they decided to blow that up. This league is an absolute joke. All it had to do was put Minnesota in the Central, Columbus in the Southeast and throw Winnipeg in the Northwest.

    • Columbus to the Southeast instead of Nashville? I think someone needs to take a better look at a map. You’re also missing the huge point which is that Detroit and Columbus needed to move into a division with more teams in their time zone. It was apparently promised to the Red Wings and the lack of local road games was killing Columbus’s fan base.

  9. I think Columbus and the Islanders should move to Division C and the Florida teams take their place. The Isles and Jackets have no compelling rivalries that would be broken up.

    • Columbus/Pittsburgh and New York/New York both sound like compelling rivalries to me. What do you gain by moving Florida and Tampa into the Atlantic? There are no compelling rivalries there either.

  10. I don’t know. The Islanders, Blue Jackets and Hurricanes all in the same division just seems wrong to me.

  11. I just want to use the old Patrick, Wales, Norris & Smythe division names instead of A,B,C & D.

  12. Seems obvious that the Islanders and Rangers would be in the Orange and the two Florida teams in the Yellow. I know some rivalries would be split up, but they are splitting up the Chicago-Detroit rivalry, which is probably the second biggest rivalry in the league after the Canadiens-Bruins.

  13. Without breaking up any major rivalries or significantly impacting TV/geography, there’s still a better way:

    - WPG to A: get a Western Canadian rivalry thing going.
    - FLA, TB to B: Somewhat less travel, and it’ll be a miracle if both Florida teams are still in the NHL in five years, so why cater to them?
    - CLB to C: PIT-CLB rivalry? Yeah, right. Also replaces FLA as C’s whipping boy.
    - NSH to D: keep ‘em in the same conference as DET.

    This also solves the numbers problem, as each conference now has 15 teams.

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