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.