I am so amped for tonights game, I decided to take a break and talk about an issue that needs to be addressed in the league. That issue is realignment. The problem in never more evident than what happens in the playoffs. The Eastern Conference all play in one time zone, while the Western Conference plays in 4. Travel expenses for the Western teams is roughly 30-35% higher than the Eastern Conference teams (which is why the East will never go for realignment) and beyond than financial inequity look at the differences that occur in the playoffs. Teams in the West have to fly back and forth across the continent multiple times, changing time zones each time, while the East has flights of two hours or less and never changes their clocks. This has to take a much greater physical tool on the West teams by the time they get to the cup final. The only real solution would be to go to the North/South alignment, where both conferences would cover all time zones. An added advantage would be that all the Canadian teams would be in the same conference thus increasing the chances of those teams matching up come playoff time. I have spoken to Commissioner Bettman about this issue and while he agress there are inequities, he doesn't believe it fixes it to make it harder on everyone. I disagree. Here is my proposed alignment. I would love to hear your thoughts.
Northcentral Division--Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Buffalo, Detroit
Northwest Division--Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Minnesota, Chicago
Southeast Division--Washington, Raleigh, Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Florida
Southcentral Division--St. Louis, Columbus, Nashville, Dallas, Pittsbugh
Southwest Division--San Jose, LA, Phoenix, Anaheim, Colorado