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Tag: Central Division

Realignment Ideas With Seattle On The Horizon

Realignment has come up lately, but this time it wasn’t an NHL proposal. No, it came from our friend Slack who’s part of the ever-growing SinBin infantry. Slack broke down his proposal for Western Conference realignment in response to my ‘Fear Edmonton‘ article. With the new Seattle arena news, Slack proposed his changes for the NHL Pacific and Central divisions.

Slack’s realignment model:

PACIFIC: Vancouver, Seattle, San Jose, Los Angeles, Anaheim, Las Vegas, Arizona, Dallas

CENTRAL: Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Minnesota, Chicago, St. Louis, Nashville, Colorado

So let’s start with the Pacific. You obviously cannot split up Anaheim, LA, and San Jose. First, it’s the perfect travel triangle for divisional play. If you look at the Metropolitan, most teams could travel by bus to most divisional games. The Rangers, Islanders, and Devils all get to go home after they play each other. So breaking up the California three is not an option. Vancouver is as west as you can get, it wouldn’t make sense for the Canucks to consistently travel to the Midwest. Also, with the possible addition of a Seattle franchise it would set up nicely for a border rivalry. Arizona is a team that could move, but the NHL would like to see a Southwestern rivalry with the Knights.

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Not So Fast On The Pacific Division, Las Vegas Could End Up In Central

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 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.

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