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Summer Nonsense: NHL Post-Expansion Realignment Plans

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That's right, it's a full on blogger v. blogger BONANZA. And it's not even over Twitter. The Summer Nonsense rolls on.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL is facing a real problem. They wanted Seattle to bid for an expansion team, and they didn't. Seattle provided a good excuse not to put a franchise in Quebec City. With an 8th team in the league in Canada, the Canadian Dollar plays an even bigger part into the league's revenue figure. Plus, it's a market the NHL already owns.

Stupid Seattle. This is all their fault.

Because of Seattle not submitting an application, bloggers are beginning to formulate their own re-alignment plans. And yes, these are always fun. Remember last time when no one wanted to move to the Southeast? I bet you wish we could do that one over again.

Let's meet our contestants.

HockeyBuzz.com

Eklund is for an eight division NHL, but still screwing the East/West alignment in favor of a more radical approach.

The Canada East Division
Montreal, Quebec, Toronto, Ottawa

The US NorthEast Division
NY Islanders, NY Rangers, NJ Devils, Boston

The US Atlantic Division
Philadelphia, Washington, Pittsburgh, Columbus

The Canada West Division
Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Vancouver

The US Lakes Division
Buffalo, Detroit, Chicago, Minnesota

The US South Division
Carolina, Nashville, Florida, Tampa

The US Central Division
Dallas, St. Louis, Phoenix (Arizona), Colorado

The US Western Division
Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Jose, Las Vegas

COMPLAINTS:

  • How can Boston not be in a division with Montreal?
  • Two All-Canadian divisions?
  • The scheduling is a bit weird, and the playoff match ups are a bit odd.
PRAISES:
  • The West looks solid. I especially like the California/Vegas division.
  • For real? A division with all "newer" markets? HELLS YEAH.
  • Nashville gets a division with awesome vacation spots and decent food. Overdue.

HometownHockey.ca

Chris Savard is in favor of keeping the East/West Alignment.

EAST

The Canada East Division
Montreal, Quebec, Toronto, Ottawa

The Atlantic Division
NY Islanders, NY Rangers, Buffalo, Boston

The Metro Division
New Jersey, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington

The Southeast Division
Carolina, Nashville, Florida, Tampa

WEST

The Central Division
Chicago, Columbus, Detroit, Minnesota

The Canada West Division
Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Winnipeg

The Southwest Division
Dallas, St. Louis, Phoenix (Arizona), Colorado

The Pacific Division
Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Jose, Las Vegas

COMPLAINTS:

  • How can Boston not be in a division with Montreal?
  • Two All-Canadian divisions?
  • That's about it.
PRAISES:
  • The West looks solid. I especially like the California/Vegas division.
  • For real? TWO divisions with all "newer" markets? HELLS YEAH.
  • The Central looks very smart, as does the Southeast. We get the chance to show them Carolina folks the error in their ways of barbecue.
  • The Metro looks very good, even with the Flyers and Rangers split up.

ProHockeyTalk

Jason Brough is in favor of keeping the East/West Alignment.

West
1. Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg
2. Anaheim, Los Angeles, San Jose, Las Vegas
3. Arizona, Dallas, Colorado, Nashville
4. Minnesota, Chicago, St. Louis, Columbus
East
5. Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City
6. Carolina, Florida, Tampa Bay, Washington
7. NY Rangers, NY Islanders, New Jersey, Buffalo
8. Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Detroit, Boston

COMPLAINTS:

  • How can Boston not be in a division with Montreal?
  • Two All-Canadian divisions?
PRAISES:
  • The West looks solid. I especially like the California/Vegas division.
  • For real? A division with all "newer" markets? HELLS YEAH.
  • Washington goes back to the Southeast. Heh.
  • Nashville stays in "Conference III".

OnTheForecheck

Dan Bradley thinks it's time Canada paid the freaking piper.

EAST

The Caribou & Maple Division
Montreal, Boston, Ottawa, Quebec

The Amtrak Division
NY Islanders, NY Rangers, New Jersey, Philadelphia

The TV RATINGS!!!! Division
Toronto, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Detroit

The Fun Division
Carolina, Washington, Florida, Tampa

WEST

The Bad Weather Division
Chicago, Columbus, Minnesota, Winnipeg

The It's Late What's on GameCenter Division
Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, San Jose

The ALL THE GOALS Division
Dallas, St. Louis, Nashville, Colorado

The Fear and Loathing Division
Los Angeles, Anaheim, Arizona, Las Vegas

COMPLAINTS:

  • The Pittsburgh rivalries w/ Washington and Philly were cannibalized. But hey, they'll be on TV more.
  • Boston will become America's team again.
  • We'll see a lot of Buffalo on national broadcasts.
  • And OH BOY MORE CHICAGO v. MINNESOTA!

PRAISES:
  • Arizona isn't going anywhere immediately. So why not give them an instant rival with Las Vegas?
  • St. Louis is the rival we've never appreciated. That'll change.
  • Washington goes back to the Southeast. Heh.
  • The Canadian teams are split up to force CBC/Rogers to leave Canada on Saturdays. I don't grasp why everyone wanted to split up Winnipeg and Minnesota? Does that border w/ Manitoba even exist?

OnTheForecheck

Kristopher Martel took the carefully thought out current alignment, laid it neatly on his desk and lit it on fire.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Northern Atlantic Division

Boston, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec

Great Lakes Division

Buffalo, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Toronto

Subway Division

New Jersey, New York Islanders (of Brooklyn), New York Rangers, Philadelphia

Southern Atlantic Division

Carolina, Florida, Tampa Bay, Washington

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Central Ring Division

Chicago, Columbus, Nashville, St. Louis

Great Northern Division

Calgary, Edmonton, Minnesota, Winnipeg

Little Pacific Division

Anaheim, Arizona, Los Angeles, San Jose

Big Pacific Division

Colorado, Dallas, Las Vegas, Vancouver

COMPLAINTS:

  • The Pittsburgh rivalries w/ Washington and Philly were cannibalized. But hey, they'll be on TV more.
  • Boston will become America's team again.
  • We'll see a lot of Buffalo on national broadcasts.
  • The Big Pacific looks a lot like the old Pacific Division, except now features three time zones. Dallas and Vancouver? That's a helluva flight.
PRAISES:
  • California HATE.
  • St. Louis is the rival we've never appreciated. That'll change.
  • Washington goes back to the Southeast. Heh.
  • The Canadian teams are split up to force CBC/Rogers to leave Canada on Saturdays. I don't grasp why everyone wanted to split up Winnipeg and Minnesota? Does that border w/ Manitoba even exist?

OnTheForecheck

JAAWWWN originally wanted no divisions or conferences for ALL OUT WAR, but that's too organized. Even for the NHL

EASTERN CONFERENCE

The We'll Show You We're Viable Markets! Division

Columbus, Carolina, Tampa Bay, Florida

The NBC Division

Washington, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Detroit

The Rude, Dirty, and Downright Unpleasant Division

New Jersey, New York, Brooklyn, Boston

The Molson Division

Buffalo, Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto

WESTERN CONFERENCE

The Best Time Zone Division

Nashville, Chicago, St. Louis, Dallas

The Oh God Why Does Anyone Live Here?! Division

Minnesota, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton

The Mostly Hipsters Who Think They're Better Than You Division

Vancouver, Seattle, San Jose, Colorado

The Dry Heat Division

Los Angeles, Anaheim, Arizona, Las Vegas

COMPLAINTS:

  • Great. That Nashville-Chicago-STL-Scum division will be a [censored] bloodbath.
  • Meanwhile the cold dirt division will bore everyone to death, with our only joy coming from Edmonton's continued failure.
  • The SMUG division exists.
PRAISES:
  • Quebec finally gets its date with the NHL its wanted for so long, but gets stood up and realizes it ran off and got hitched with its first choice, instead.
  • Columbus vs. the South? *grabs popcorn*
  • Buffalo cements it's claim to being the Tijuana of Canada.

No One

Screw divisions. Screw Conferences. Everyone plays everyone 2 or 3 times a year, determined and balanced by last year's overall standings. After an 87 game schedule, the top 6 teams make the playoffs, with the top two getting a first round bye.

All the teams go here.

COMPLAINTS:

  • Not sure what to do with the the Campbell Bowl and Prince of Wales Trophy.
  • Whole lotta travel.
  • Teams that need that divisional rivalry to generate the care level? Tough.
PRAISES:
  • No one will ever complain about their division again.
  • No one will have a right to complain about travel.
  • EVERY GAME MATTERS.
  • Strength of schedule will be balanced.

More plans are coming, as they appear we'll keep collecting them. But for now, what do you think about these? Most of these involve Nashville leaving the Central, which was an idea I felt all alone on back in 2011. (I wrote about this on another site back in 2011, but they deleted it)

Your thoughts? Feel free to vote below.