Re-aligning the NHL: Part 2

Articles | By on Dec 5th, 2007

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Yesterday you caught a glimpse of part one of my re-envisioning of the National Hockey League and the amalgamation of the Eastern Conference and Western Conferences into the Lemieux and Gretzky Conferences. Since my audience of two readers (I give myself too much credit) is dying to see the makeup of the Divisions within the Gretzky Conference, we’ll get right into the thick up things. Without further adieu, feast your eyes upon the Conference of the Great One.

Central
Toronto Maple Leafs
Columbus Blue Jackets
Detroit Red Wings
Chicago Blackhawks
St. Louis Blues

West
San Jose Sharks
Edmonton Oilers
Calgary Flames
Minnesota Wild
Vancouver Canucks

Southwest
Dallas Stars
Phoenix Coyotes
Colorado Avalanche
Los Angeles Kings
Anaheim Ducks

I’ll start off with the Central Division and again, Toronto may seem like the odd team out but I took a geographic circle approach to dropping them in this division. The circle seemed to encompass Columbus, Detroit, Chicago and Toronto well with St. Louis being a little further out…or, depending on how you look at it, the circle encompassed all of the other teams in the division with Toronto being slightly out of place. Don’t like it? Then forward your complaints to the NHL front office.

Up next is the revamped West Division. As you may have noticed, the three California teams have been split up due to the fact that San Jose is located in the northern part of California and placing Phoenix in this division would have totally screwed up the Southwest Division. Minnesota was the hardest team to find a home for and I can see why the NHL seemed to want to just place it somewhere after expansion just to get it out of the way. The Wild are not as far west as the other teams in their division, but until we bring the Winnipeg Jets back, they’re pretty much stuck with west coast jaunts. At least they get to hang out in San Jose now instead of Denver.

Last but not least we have the Southwest Division. Much like with the Southeast Division, we have taken one team out and replaced it with another. Out are the San Jose Sharks and in are the Colorado Avalanche. The Avalanche are the strange fit in this division. Denver is out definitely out west but its only about as far south as the home of the Capitals, which was one of my gripes with the current alignment, but the Avalanche are now a lot closer to the teams in their division than they were before.

What I Would Have Liked To See But Couldn’t Get To Work:

I would have liked to place the Columbus Blue Jackets in the same division as the Penguins simply due to the football history between Pittsburgh and Ohio. I would love to see how this would carry over into the hockey world.

I would have liked to somehow put the Blackhawks, Red Wings, Maple Leafs and Canadiens into the same division. Think of the history that those teams have with each other.

I would have liked to have an all-Canadian division. Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary and Edmonton. Vancouver would have to be the odd team out, I guess.

Well folks, there you have it. This was a fun little article to blog about and I hope that all of you hockey fans out there get a kick out of it. I’m interested to see what everyone else has to say about my re-imagining of the NHL divisional alignment. Hate mail is welcomed. Don’t let the puck hit you in the face!

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