Friday, December 22, 2006

NHL's new division proposal

From TSN:
Here is a concept drummed up by six NHL club executives and Gary Bettman. The theory is that there will be some reduction in travel because of the geographic alignment by time zone, but every team will see every team at least once over the course of the season.

-A reduction in the number of divisions from six to four. There would still be an Eastern Conference and a Western Conference, but there would one eight-team division and one seven-team division in each conference.
-The top two teams in each division would be guaranteed the top four playoff seeds within the conference with four wild card playoff berths going to the teams with the next highest point totals.
-The four new divisions would be configured primarily along the lines of time zones.
-The theory is not only would this benefit teams in terms of travel, but could also boost TV ratings because game times in the same time zone would be more favorable.
-The current Northeast Division (Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Buffalo and Boston) would remain intact and add two other teams to form a seven-team division. Sources say Pittsburgh is one of those teams that would join the Northeast teams.
-The current Atlantic Division (the three New York area teams plus Philadelphia) would be melded together with four teams from the current Southeast Division (all but one of Washington, Carolina, Atlanta, Tampa Bay and Florida).
-The eight-team division in the Western Conference would feature all teams in Pacific or Mountain time zones (Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Anaheim, Los Angeles, San Jose, Colorado and Phoenix).
-The seven-team division in the Western Conference would feature teams that are in either the Central or Eastern time zones.
-As for the schedule, it is said to be a little more complicated than it currently is, because of the uneven number of teams in the divisions, but each team will apparently play its division rivals six times each and its conference rivals either three or four times each and non-conference teams once each.
-The discussion paper teams received today includes Columbus flipping conferences with the Atlanta Thrashers.
Columbus would join the Penguins in the Northeast with Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Boston and Buffalo.
Atlanta would leap over to West and take the Blue Jackets place among those in the Central.

Sounds interesting. It may just work. I guess that would put the Canucks in a division with the Oilers, Flames, Wild, Colorado, and then Anaheim, LA, and San Jose? Yikes. I'm in!

2 Comments:

At December 23, 2006 at 3:30 PM , Anonymous Matt said...

Sadly, the Canucks would finish last in the division every year :-)

 
At December 23, 2006 at 7:05 PM , Blogger Zanstorm said...

Yeah, pretty much...
at least until they can assemble a team that can score!

 

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Waiting For Stanley was created in June 2006.