NHL Realignment, Who Will Be the Next St. Louis Blues Rival?

By now everyone has heard the news; the St. Louis Blues will join the Midwest Division of the Western Conference in the NHL beginning next season.  The NHL and NHLPA have agreed that the new realignment plan is the best for the NHL, at least for now.

St. Louis Blues fans now have the chance to see the Note play the Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, and Winnpeg Jets on a regular basis.  Don’t worry, we will still be able to fight against the hated Chicago Blackhawks and Nashville Predators too, but say good bye to the Detroit Red Wings and the Columbus Blue Jackets.

While no one is going to miss the Columbus Blue Jackets, we will miss the easy two points that they offered up each and every night.  I wish John Davidson and Jarmo Kekalainen the best of luck in Columbus and hope that they can find a way back into the playoffs next season.  The Jackets could be a strong team and they certainly have leadership that you can believe in.  Losing them to the Eastern Conference will probably be a good thing for the Blues, but what about losing a bitter rival?

With the Red Wings headed to the Eastern Conference, Blues fans have to at least be a little disappointed.  I know that realignment was something that had to happen, I know that the Red Wings are better suited for the Eastern Conference, and I know that it will only benefit the Blues losing the Wings in our division, but it is still kind of sad news.

There was something about watching the Blues beat the Red Wings that felt really good.  For a long time the Red Wings were the benchmark in the Western Conference.  Those days are gone now and the Blues will now have to develop rivalries with new cities.

Blues defenseman Barret Jackman said. “Unfortunately, you lose a big rival in Detroit. It’s going to be a tough one for the fans of both teams, but we’re going to get some other rivalries going with the new teams in the division.”

So what lucky team will now get to receive all of the hatred and disgust of Blues fans that will be left over from the Wings?  Dallas could be an option.  They are a developing team that looks like they could be a contender.  Winnipeg would be fun, but they haven’t proven to be a difficult enough opponent.  The Avalanche have our former first overall pick, but we got the better of them in that trade.  That leaves just one team, the Minnesota Wild.

Don’t get me wrong, before joining a division with the St. Louis Blues, I kind of liked the Wild.  They were lucky this past offseason and took away one of the best defensive pairings the Central Division ever saw.  The Blues had an upper hand over Nashville thanks to them.   The Wild also had great young talent that was starting to come into the NHL, but now, for all those same reasons, I hate the Wild.

What do you think Blues fans, what new divisional rival will take the place of Detroit?  Will it be the Wild, the Jets, the Avalanche, or the Stars?


-Alex Hodschayan

Tags: Detroit Red Wings Minnesota WIld NHL Realingment St. Louis Blues

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