For a while now we’ve just kind of figured Las Vegas would be placed in the Pacific Division with the likes of Los Angeles, Anaheim, Phoenix, San Jose and the western Canadian teams. However, with the probability of Quebec getting an expansion team seemingly hitting rock bottom, it’s not that far fetched to think Las Vegas could end up in the Central as the NHL eyes the future.
The history of realignment in the NHL is a long and complicated one. It’s best illustrated in this wonderful infographic from Puck Daddy. Tack on this perfect map from TomFulery.com and you’ll be completely up to date.
The only real information we’ve gotten from the league has been neither Detroit nor Columbus will be placed back in the Western Conference. Aside from that there have been a few quotes here and there, but most of them were in response to questions about Quebec City, so they are hardly relevant anymore.
The possibilities involving massive realignment are endless, just check out all these scenarios. But it seems much more likely since the big realignment in 2013 that the league would prefer to simply add to the existing divisions.
Clearly in adding Las Vegas and only Las Vegas it would make the most sense to add Vegas to the Pacific and worry about it later. That’s exactly what I think will happen. But, what if they do decide to get creative and set things up for the inevitable adding of Seattle as the 32nd team? (We have zero knowledge of this actually happening, but it’s apparent the league wants it so play along.)
Geographically speaking, and not moving anyone else, Vegas would actually make make more sense in the Central than Seattle. (See the table at the bottom) The difference of 2,536 miles is significant compared to the 774.
It’s certainly not the best case scenario for The Creator and his brand new club, but it could happen, and like my professors in college always used to tell me, you know what happens when you assume.
|Vancouver||1267 miles||142 miles|
|Calgary||1303 miles||674 miles|
|Edmonton||1491 miles||790 miles|
|San Jose||521 miles||844 miles|
|Los Angeles||269 miles||1140 miles|
|Anaheim||251 miles||1168 miles|
|Phoenix||277 miles||1395 miles|
|Pacific Division Total||5379 miles||6153 miles|
|Colorado||754 miles||1327 miles|
|Dallas||1215 miles||2074 miles|
|Nashville||1792 miles||2396 miles|
|St. Louis||1611 miles||2088 miles|
|Chicago||1752 miles||2069 miles|
|Winnipeg||1703 miles||1403 miles|
|Minnesota||1665 miles||1671 miles|
|Central Division Total||10,492 miles||13,028 miles|
This is ridiculous. More likely is that Edmonton and Calgary go to the Central. Las Vegas and Seattle replace them in the Pacific, and Colorado crosses over into the Pacific, a much better fit for them anyway, to balance the divisions