One of the most ridiculous things that happens during the offseason is the obligatory survey of anonymous players on all the important topics of the year. The first one of the year comes to us from the newspaper I relied on for sports scores before the Internet, USA Today.
In an article titled “34 of 35 say they’d accept an openly gay teammate” (do we seriously still care about this?) USA Today revealed that 25 of those 35 players thought realignment would be necessary if Las Vegas and Quebec are awarded teams.
Twenty-five players said the NHL should realign again if Las Vegas and Quebec Cityenter the NHL as expansion teams and eight said the teams should just be added to the Western Conference. Currently, the Eastern Conference has 16 teams and the Western Conference had 14 teams. – USA Today
At some point, the conferences have to stay consistent. This allows for rivalries, lets fans to get used to other teams in their division and conference, and makes for better competition between familiar teams.
The offset number will continue to be an issue, but in a league where half (will be 16 of 32 with Vegas and Quebec) make the playoffs, it’s a pretty weak argument that having the extra two teams is that detrimental.
All this being said, I’m reacting to an anonymous survey as if it holds the same weight as a direct quote from Gary Bettman.
Just give us our team already, I can’t take this much longer.