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.
|Pacific Division Total
|Central Division Total