Ever since the Atlanta Thrashers packed up and moved to Manitoba to become the Winnipeg Jets, it seems as if NHL realignment has been on the mind of most involved with the game. Last season the NHL has developed a new four conference system which would have created two eight team conferences and two seven team conferences while also welcoming a new playoff format. At the time the league proposed the idea stating that it would cut down on travel significantly and would be a benefit to the players and the game, but without a template schedule or specific examples the NHLPA ixnayed the idea when presented the full details. Many in the NHLPA saw Winnipeg traveling more than in the current format and were confused as to how this would be a long lasting solution. Here is what realignment looked like last time around:
This time, the NHL is looking to change things up a little more than they did to help create a plan that the NHLPA will love just as much as they do. While some fans were upset about the move to a four conference league, the NHL seems to think it is the best solution for the game and has done it once again. The plan sees the Detroit Red Wings and Columbus Blue Jackets move out of the Central. This would mean that the rivalry between the Blues and Red Wings would lose a lot of its intensity, but could still be a possibility for post season play. The proposed realignment would look like this:
Although the Central Division, which would now be a conference in itself, would love Detroit and Columbus, it would add Dallas, Colorago, Minnesota, and Winnipeg. The Blues would maintain their rivalries with both Chicago and Nashville, but would add in old rivalries like Minnesota and Winnipeg. While the proposal is not yet approved by the Board of Governors, it appears that this is the plan that the NHL sees for its future.
What do you think? Is this the a good set up or would you change it? If you were to change the conferences, who would you swap out and where?
As always, LET’S GO BLUES!