Posted February 27, 2013

NHL realignment plan to feature wild cards for playoffs

NHL

The National Hockey League’s plan for realignment would shrink the league’s six divisions to four and add playoff wild-card spots for the playoffs, reports ESPN.com.

The report says that the NHL sent a memo to all 30 teams on Tuesday. The new setup would have divisional instead of conference playoffs. Each division winner with the most points in the regular season would play the lowest-seeded wild card team in the 1st round, and the other division winner plays the other wild-card.

Here is how the conferences would stack up. The plan must be approved by the league’s board of governors.

The Eastern Conference would feature the Atlantic and Central divisions while the Western Conference would have the Mid-West and Pacific divisions.

The Pacific Division would feature Anaheim, Calgary, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Jose and Vancouver.

The Mid-West: Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Minnesota, Nashville, St. Louis and Winnipeg.

The Central: Boston, Buffalo, Detroit, Florida, Montreal, Ottawa, Tampa Bay, Toronto.

The Atlantic: Carolina, Columbus, New Jersey, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington.


13 comments
Rickapolis
Rickapolis

There are still too many teams in the playoffs. I realize that is not an original complain, or limited to the NHL, but I think the regular season should count for more than it does. 

EthanWinter
EthanWinter

They should go away with the geographic names for conferences and divisions and go back to hockey legend names like the Orr Division, Howe Division or Gretzky Division

RunMidwestyRun
RunMidwestyRun

NORTH: Buffalo - Chicago - Detroit - Minnesota - Ottawa - St. Louis - Toronto - Winnipeg 

EAST: Boston - Carolina - Florida - Montreal - New Jersey - NY Islanders - NY Rangers

WEST: Anaheim - Calgary - Colorado - Edmonton - Los Angeles - Phoenix - San Jose - Vancouver 

SOUTH: Columbus - Dallas - Nashville - Tampa Bay - Philadelphia - Pittsburgh - Washington

 

Conference winners seeded 1-4 by record

Next 12 best record seeded 5-16 by record

No reseeding round-to-round

Easy to follow brackets and office pools for casual fans

 

REC-11
REC-11

Atlantic - Boston, NYI, NYR, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Washington, Tampa Bay, Florida

Re-name to Great Lakes - Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Detroit, Carolina 

Re-name to Central Plains - Chicago, Dallas, Colorado, Nashville, Minnesota, Saint Louis, Winnipeg 

Pacific - all good as listed 

 

Carolina is the only real odd team out in this scenario - 

 

driflyer13
driflyer13

The nice part of this is that the NHL makes quick changes. They don't drag their feet.

MikeF.Scholes
MikeF.Scholes

 @RunMidwestyRun in what geographical netherworld you've created do Philly, Pittsburgh, Washington and Columbus qualify as "Southern" centres??

 

deedoublejay
deedoublejay

 @RunMidwestyRun

 Your idea doesn't hold up if you look at a map. You've got a team in the North (St. Louis) further south than a team in the South (Columbus). You've got teams in the South (Washington, Philadelphia) that are further east than teams in the East (Carolina, Miami). You put Philly and Pittsburgh in the South? *headsmack*

Not to mention you broke up Toronto and Montreal. There's no way the NHL's going to let that happen, again. There are too many people up here that get pumped up for every match-up. All six of them.

My two problems with the NHL's proposed alignment are the 16/14 East/West split and Boston and Florida in the Central while Carolina, Columbus and (to a lesser extent) Pittsburgh are in the Atlantic. Tinkering with their proposal, I'd go with this:

Pacific- Anaheim, Calgary, Colorado, Edmonton, L.A., Phoenix, San Jose and Vancouver

Mid-West- Chicago, Detroit, Dallas, Minnesota, Nashville, St. Louis and Winnipeg

Central- Buffalo, Columbus, Montreal, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Toronto

Atlantic- Boston, Carolina, Florida, New Jersey, N.Y. Islanders, N.Y. Rangers, Tampa Bay and Washington

Ideally, Philly would be in the Atlantic and Carolina in the Central, but I'm sure the NHL wants to keep the PA teams together, too.

Looking ahead to possible relocation, if Phoenix was to move to Kansas or Seattle, there'd be no change. If one of the eastern teams (e.g. from Florida) was to move west, Detroit could shuffle over to the Central.

REC-11
REC-11

 @RunMidwestyRun 1) No way Winnipeg is going to be in a division with all those Eastern time zone teams - 2) Panthers and Lightning have to be same division at this time (until they inevitably re-locate from Florida! LOL!!!) - 3) the 8 team divisions have to be in the east to reduce travel - 4) Leafs and Habs NOT in the same division? Boo!  

 

davefoxIP
davefoxIP

 @REC-11 You can't have a "Great Lakes" division without Chicago.  The realignment destroys the Blackhawks-Red Wings rivalry.  I preferred the last suggested realignment.

jrholtman
jrholtman

 @driflyer13 It's nice to see sarcasm isn't dead...  The NHL tried to resolve this during the lockout and work it into the CBA without a lot of success.  Winnipeg playing in the SE division for 2 (well 1.5) seasons is ridiculous though.

REC-11
REC-11

 @davefoxIP  @REC-11 I hear ya davefoxIP as I am a big original six rivalry guy but (as they say on the UPS commercials) logistics  - Chicago is in the Central time zone - the Atlantic and Great Lakes divisions are all Eastern time zone teams - I didn't say it was perfect, just what I would do if I had a vote - plus b'hawks and wings can now BOTH win division titles and meet in later rounds of play-offs which would be intense! -