Monday, December 5, 2011

DBJ's 5 thoughts on the forthcoming realignment

Gallos dropped the realignment news on this blog a little earlier, leaving me with an opportunity to offer some opinions on what has happened.
Your reconstituted National Hockey League
Graphic from Yahoo! Sports' Puck Daddy
1. The Columbus Blue Jackets will save a lot of money - A home-and-home exchange with every out-of conference team (22 games x 2 = 44 games), followed by every other game inside of the conference means that travel costs drop.

2. If you like games against former Blue Jackets coaches, you're in luck - No fewer than five games a season against Ken Hitchcock and his St. Louis Blues.  Same goes for former CBJ interim Claude Noel and his Winnipeg Jets.  Of course these coaches won't be in these jobs forever, but the league will likely realign again in 5-10 years...

3. The Columbus Blue Jackets will save a lot of money -  No longer are there two trips out to the West Coast or Western Canada.  Just one.

No, this didn't happen.  But dang, it would have been great.
4. Detroit was thwarted, but I wish Columbus could have gone "East" - The whole notion that the Western Conference teams would let one of their guaranteed high ticket sale visiting teams - the Detroit Red Wings - just up and leave seemed far-fetched.  The notion that the Eastern Conference teams would want to (more or less) cede one of their playoff seeds to the Wings seemed even less likely.  And then there's the fact that I have a soft spot in my heart for a lot of the Northeast teams like Toronto and Montreal.  (I also like the Bruins, too.)  So while I'm happy that Detroit didn't get what they wanted, I would have LOVED to see the Blue Jackets slot into "Conference C" - or this earlier proposal for realignment (right).

5. The Blue Jackets will save a lot of money - When your team is run by a finance guy, this is really important.  So I'm guessing he meant it when he said it was "a fantastic night" for the Blue Jackets.  Seriously, it probably is significant to putting the CBJ closer to the black.  And while the Blue Jackets aren't going anywhere until 2039 at the earliest - presuming the Arena deal is carried out - financial stability is always a nice thing to have in your back pocket.

Bonus number 6. The Hockey Operations seats just got that much hotter - If you thought that there was pressure to make the top 8 of the current Western Conference and snag a playoff seed, imagine how it's going to feel knowing you are going to be expected to compete for one of four playoff spots against...hell, everyone except Winnipeg looks tough right now.  Five current Western Conference teams are in playoff position right now, including the top four seeds of Minnesota, Chicago, Dallas and Detroit. A rejuvenated (new coach bump, perhaps) St. Louis is in 6th, and you can't count Nashville out - period.  Hope that money that you saved was worth it, Blue Jackets, because the playoffs look really, really far away right now.  And Lord have mercy on Scott Howson and Scott Arniel, because they have to navigate this minefield.

2 comments:

  1. Seems to me that the losers are the fans and the amount the have to pay for beer!  How does your team rank?

    http://www.saveonbrew.com/blog-article/saveonbrew-2011-nhl-beer-price-review

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  2. As much as I wanted the Jackets in Conference C, because I too have a soft spot for such teams as Boston, Montreal, and the Leafs. When I sit down and think about it, we still get to see them every year AND we can still have a soft spot for them since they are in a different conference and aren't fighting them for points. As much as I wanted us to go East, I think this is the best scenario at side of that.

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