Monday, December 5, 2011

NHL Realignment - Columbus Stays in The West

Today, the NHL Board of Governors decided on a new organizational plan for the NHL according to TSN.  This the new four conference alignment that has been discussed in many sources   One of the clear benefits of this plan is the decision that each team in the league will play a home and home with every other team.  This means that all the star power of the NHL will be coming through every arena in the league, and is nothing but a good thing for the NHL.

In the four conference alignment, the Atlanta Thrashers moved west as the Winnipeg Jets.  That leaves the Columbus Blue Jackets in the Central Division of the Western Conference with Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, Dallas, Nashville, Minnesota and Winnipeg. The Central Division remains a murderer's row. The only consolation is that the rest of the league has to come through it too.

From the TSN Article:

The existing Northeast division would be expanded to include the league's two Florida-based teams, making a conference of: Boston, Buffalo, Florida, Montreal, Ottawa, Tampa Bay and Toronto.
Meanwhile, the existing Atlantic Division would gain two teams for a seven-team conference including: Carolina, New Jersey, the New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Washington.
The Central Division would be modified to form a conference of Mid-Western teams including: Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Minnesota, Nashville, St. Louis, and Winnipeg.
The three Canadian teams from the Northwest Division would join a proposed Western Conference including: Anaheim, Calgary, Colorado, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Jose and Vancouver.
The realignment is aimed at evening out the travel schedules for all NHL teams with each team playing teams outside their conference twice per year, once at home and on the road.

In the playoffs, the plan is for the first two rounds to be within Division, 1 vs 4, 2 vs 3, with a total re-seeding done with the winners following the first two rounds.

The bottom line is that the CBJ need to learn to win within their Division.  I'm not sure the road to the playoffs got any easier.


1 comment:

  1. I disagree with your last statement here. I think the playoffs are much easier here than any other option barring a straight up Winnipeg-Columbus trade. Looking at the new Conferences, the only other option for Columbus would have been to take Carolina's spot in the NYR-NYI-NJ-PHI-PIT-WSH Conference or for that conference to have eight teams. If you look at their new conference, Detroit and Chicago are perennial playoff teams, with the rest battling for the final two spots. It would be very tough knocking off any one of Philly, Pit or Washington, with the Rangers also being pretty damn good.

    I think it was pretty clear they were going to a four conference format, and now the Jackets have the 10th lowestt in-division travel and a spot in arguably the easiest conference. I would call that a win.


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