Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Ray Canuck

What's happening with realignment?

Recommended Posts

@JSportsnet

Timeline for realignment appears to be accelerating. Told that resolution expected before the end of February.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's an article from yesterday with more info, a nice little colour-coded graphic to show which division's teams end up where, and quotes from Gillis & Ballard. Also the insane revelation that over the past 4 seasons, our record against Northwest opponents is 72-22-9!

Canucks fans suffering from a case of Northwest Division-itis can take heart. National Hockey League realignment appears to be back on track.

The league and the NHL Players’ Association have been discussing realignment in recent weeks and there’s a chance a proposal could be voted on by the board of governors as early as later this month.

“Discussions on realignment are ongoing and we hope to be in a position to present something to our board soon,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Wednesday in an email to The Vancouver Sun. “We are working with the Players’ Association in terms of constructing something that we think will work well for our league and for the game going forward.”

Such a proposal is expected to be similar to one approved by the board of governors in December 2011. That proposal consisted of four conferences, two with eight teams and two with seven. The Canucks were grouped with Edmonton, Calgary, San Jose, Los Angeles, Anaheim, Phoenix and Colorado.

Vancouver general manager Mike Gillis is all for realignment, largely because he thinks it would slightly ease the team’s travel burden.

“We like it because we would play more games in our time zone,” Gillis said. “We wouldn’t have to travel to places like Columbus and Nashville as much. It would keep us more in the West.”

Canucks’ defenceman Keith Ballard isn’t convinced realignment would make all that much difference to the team’s travel.

“Geographically, it probably makes sense,” Ballard said. “But unless they are going to put some more teams in Alberta and B.C., we still won’t have that easy of a travel schedule.

“For us, I don’t know how much difference it makes. I guess maybe you eliminate some of those long trips to places like Nashville and Columbus.”

The biggest benefit could be for fans. There has been considerable discussion in Vancouver of late about the quality of the Northwest Division. Tuesday’s 2-1 win over the Minnesota Wild ran the Canucks’ division record this season to 6-0-1. In the last four seasons and the early part of this one, the Canucks have gone 72-22-9 against the Northwest Division. Vancouver was the lone Northwest team to make the playoffs the past two seasons and some have suggested so much time spent playing weak division opponents does not make for great playoff preparation.

“That’s people not from Vancouver that tend to want to attribute our success to the failure of other teams,” Gillis said. “Well, they are still hard games, they are still good teams.”

But Gillis does acknowledge that realignment would have an added benefit for fans and that existing rivalries with teams such as the Sharks, Kings and Ducks would intensify if the Canucks were playing in the same conference as the three California teams.

“It would be different for a period of time, something new,” Gillis said. “I think there’s a benefit to fans.”

Of course, the Canucks’ new conference, as it was proposed just over a year ago, would include all the Northwest Division teams save the Wild, who would join a conference that would include Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Nashville, St. Louis and Winnipeg.

Ballard doesn’t think the current weakness of the Northwest Division should be used as a rallying cry for realignment.

“You can’t realign divisions and conferences every time teams go through down years,” Ballard said. “Every couple of years it’s going to be a different group of teams. You look at Edmonton, they are going to get better every year ... You are never going to find perfect parity in all of the divisions.”

Daniel Sedin said realignment is not currently a big issue inside the Vancouver dressing room.

“I don’t think we care too much about that,” he said. “It’s fun to see some different teams and play them more. But if you look at the teams now in the Western Conference, it’s pretty tight. I don’t think it matters too much what division you are in or who you play against. It’s going to be tough either way.”

Daniel’s right. The fans probably care more about realignment than the players. Under the most recent proposal, those in eight-team conferences would play one another five or six times each season. In the seven-team conferences, teams would play one another six times.

But what fans will most like is the fact every team would play every other team outside its conference in a home-and-away series.

The top four teams in each of the four conferences would make the playoffs and that has created questions about teams playing in the two seven-team conferences having a competitive advantage. That is believed to be one of the concerns the NHLPA had when the board passed its realignment proposal 26-4 just over a year ago.

“Regardless of what we come up with, it’s not going to be perfect,” Daly said Wednesday. “That’s just the nature of the beast we’re dealing with. And, I think the union and the players understand that.”

One longer-term solution would be expansion. The addition of two teams would give the NHL a total of 32 and allow for four eight-team conferences.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Gumballthechewy

Conference A

Anaheim

Calgary

Colorado

Edmonton

Los Angeles

Phoenix

San Jose

Vancouver

Conference B

Chicago

Columbus

Dallas

Detroit

Minnesota

Nashville

St. Louis

Winnipeg

Conference C

Boston

Buffalo

Florida

Montreal

Ottawa

Tampa Bay

Toronto

Conference D

Carolina

New Jersey

New York Islanders

New York Rangers

Philadelphia

Pittsburgh

Washington

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You forgot Seattle and Quebec.

:bigblush:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They had better figure out a way to make the playoff seeding fair with whatever re-alignment they go with. Having some conferences with more teams than others and less chance to make the playoffs is patently unfair no matter how you look at it.

You could work something with wildcard/crossover where the top 3 in each conference makes the playoffs and the remaining 4 best teams regardless of conference make it too.

The other issue is how often teams play each other... some conferences in this set up hardly have to get on a plane all season if they play most of their games in conference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Gumballthechewy

There would have to be 2 expansion teams to make that conference system fair, otherwise some teams get 4 in 7 chance at the playoffs and some get 4 in 8 and Toronto gets a 1 in 1,000,000 (so at least that doesn't change)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only thing that would make it fair would be making the NE Division run a marathon every other day during hockey season. Those guys log half the miles that western teams do. Talk about a major advantage!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is asinine to have 8 teams in each western conference and 3 time zones vs the eastern teams going as far west as Toronto and 7. This is a huge advantage for the east.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I for one could not think of a city I would want a team in more then Seattle. Close enough to visit for games but the cross border rivalry coupled with the proximity should make for a true battle of the west.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been hearing rumblings that the NHL wants to expand to 32, the two extra teams being Quebec and another in Ontario. That should make it an even eight teams for each conference then.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

our conference looks like a joke in the realignment. all the gary bettman towns are there!! at least move winnipeg to our conference and relocate one of these teams(la, san jose, phoenix, anaheim, colorado, dallas) to seattle or saskatoon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ontario having three teams is as stupid as Florida having two. This realignment stinks unless they either eliminate two teams (28 teams total, 7 in each conference) or add two teams (32 total, 8 in each conference).

Personally, I think Quebec and Seattle having teams would be awesome. Another Ontario team when Quebec is wanting one? And when Seattle is set to build a new arena for the possible return of the Sonics? C'mon, NHL. 3 Ontario teams is such a waste, and it further complicates the Eastern situation. The East has too many teams as it is, which is why cities like Nashville, Columbus, Detroit (which is only 4 hours away from Toronto in a car) and Chicago are in the Western conference.

And Dallas in the Pacific division? When Denver, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver are all closer to the actual Pacific (Vancouver being ON the Pacific)!

It's clear the NHL needs to rework the conferences and divisions, but adding a 3rd Ontario team when the league is already so dense in the East makes no sense. Especially with the developments in Seattle and Phoenix.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Gumballthechewy

Ontario having three teams is as stupid as Florida having two. This realignment stinks unless they either eliminate two teams (28 teams total, 7 in each conference) or add two teams (32 total, 8 in each conference).

Personally, I think Quebec and Seattle having teams would be awesome. Another Ontario team when Quebec is wanting one? And when Seattle is set to build a new arena for the possible return of the Sonics? C'mon, NHL. 3 Ontario teams is such a waste, and it further complicates the Eastern situation. The East has too many teams as it is, which is why cities like Nashville, Columbus, Detroit (which is only 4 hours away from Toronto in a car) and Chicago are in the Western conference.

And Dallas in the Pacific division? When Denver, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver are all closer to the actual Pacific (Vancouver being ON the Pacific)!

It's clear the NHL needs to rework the conferences and divisions, but adding a 3rd Ontario team when the league is already so dense in the East makes no sense. Especially with the developments in Seattle and Phoenix.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Gumballthechewy

Seattle, what will they name their team?

The grunge?

The beachcombers?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@DarrenDreger

Progress on realignment discussions and planning, but don't expect announcement until end of next week or the week following. #TSN

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So why was my thread about realignment locked because it was a "duplicate thread" whereas this one isn't?

I guess because I said the Canucks division was weak? Wow pretty sad CDC MODERATORS.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.