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ON • Canada • 2013 Years Old • Male
The NHL may be thinking of expanding again, and with the new rules in place it might just be a perfect time to expand and realign some teams in the league.

I think if the NHL does expand by two teams the perfect two choices would be Winnipeg, Canada since they do have a great fanbase and support for hockey in the NHL, there stadium can hold 15,003 and there team was moved not because of lack of fan support but was sold to pad the owners wallet and the other team being Seattle, USA who have shown some love for hockey and average about 5000 fans a game in the WHL and have had games were they have passed 10,000 the are close enough to Canada and do get snow so winter hockey is a pasttime, the stadium in place currently holds 15,177 for hockey.

These two teams may need to build larger stadiums but they would be great hockey markets for new NHL teams.

The NHL could then realign and have 4 Divisions per conference of 4 teams, and since both Winnipeg and Seattle are in the Mid to West Coast this would mean that Detroit or Columbus could be moved to the Eastern Conference.
I'll go with Detroit moving to the East.

The New Divisions could look something like this

Eastern Conference

Division 1
Toronto Maple Leafs
Montreal Canadiens
Ottawa Senators
Boston Bruins

Division 2
Detroit Red Wings
Buffalo Sabres
Pittsburgh Penguins
Philadelphia Flyers

Division 3
New York Rangers
New York Islanders
New Jersey Devils
Washington Capitals

Division 4
Tampa Bay Lightening
Florida Panthers
Atlanta Thrashers
Carolina Hurricanes

Western Conference

Division 1
Chicago Black Hawks
St Louis Blues
Columbus Blue Jackets
Nashville Predators

Division 2
Winnipeg ??????
Minnesota Wild
Colorado Avalance
Dallas Stars

Division 3
Edmonton Oilers
Calgary Flames
Vancouver Canucks
Seattle ??????

Division 4
San Jose Sharks
Los Angeles Kings
Anaheim Ducks
Phoenix Coyotes

The teams 82 game schedule would be broken down like this

Divisional: 8 games x 3 teams = 24 Games
Conference: 4 games x 12 teams = 48 Games
Opposite Conference 4 games at home versus each team of 1 division and 4 road games against each team of another division with 2 games to be chosen randomly 1 home 1 away against the same conference.

Example of Toronto Maple Leafs Schedule

8 games each against Montreal , Ottawa, Boston

4 games each against Detroit, Buffalo, Philly, Pittsburgh, Rangers, Islanders, Devils, Washington, Carolina, Atlanta, Florida and Tampa

1 game against each team in Division 1 in Western Conference at home which would be Chicago, St. Louis, Nashville, Columbus

1 game against each team in Division 4 in Western Conference on road which would be San Jose, Los Angeles, Anaheim, Phoenix

Divisions would rotate as they do now each season

then the league could select Calgary at home and Edmonton on the road to fill out the schedule and this would spice up the schedule.

What do others think?
Which two teams should be expanded into league?
What should the divisions look like?
Filed Under:   expansion   maple leafs   red wings   winnipeg   seattle   nhl  
July 30, 2007 9:02 PM ET | Delete
Why break up three good rivalries by moving Philadelphia out of a division with the New York teams and New Jersey? Not only that but Philly's closer to the NY teams and NJ than Washington. Other than that it's not a bad plan, if there must be expansion.
July 31, 2007 8:19 AM ET | Delete
It's not a bad plan (minus the aforementioned problems stated by Jsaq), but I think the LAST thing this league needs to do is expand.
July 31, 2007 9:42 AM ET | Delete
Columbus needs to be in the Eastern Conference, their travel schedule is a nightmare.
July 31, 2007 10:40 AM ET | Delete
Why break the Buffalo-Toronto rivalry?
July 31, 2007 10:42 AM ET | Delete
Also, you could just make it an 80-game schedule
July 31, 2007 10:42 AM ET | Delete
Also, you could just make it an 80-game schedule
July 31, 2007 10:53 AM ET | Delete
looks good, it would be nice to winnipeg to be in the same division as the other western canadian teams. Yes Seattle is close to them aswell, so I was thinking... what about 2 divisions of 8 teams in each conference...6 games agaisnt division, 6x7=423 games agaisnt conference, 3x8=24 (rotate each year which teams you play 2 road and 1 home game with 1 road and 2 home games)1 vs other conference 1x16=16 (rotate each year which division you play at home and which on the road)total=82...just an idea
July 31, 2007 10:56 AM ET | Delete
i guess enter doesnt work...........6 games agaisnt division, 6x7=42. 3 games agaisnt conference, 3x8=24 (rotate each year which teams you play 2 road and 1 home game with 1 road and 2 home games). 1 vs other conference 1x16=16 (rotate each year which division you play at home and which on the road)
July 31, 2007 6:05 PM ET | Delete
The reasoning for Philly not being with the Rangers, Isles and Devils is so they could remain with there state rival Pittsburgh, divisions were based not only on rivalries but also on geography based on province or state.
August 1, 2007 9:51 AM ET | Delete
First problem: as long as Gary know nothing about hockey Bettman is commissioner, the league will never expand to Winnipeg. That being said, I'd rather see the league contract to 28 teams and this is how I'd do it. Sorry Islander fans, the New York market does not need three teams and with Jersey about to move into a new stadium, your Islanders are the weak sister in New York. Also the LA market can't properly support two teams, so I would merge the Kings and Ducks, there is not enough support for hockey in southern Cal. to support both. I would also think hard about the future of hockey in Nashville and Carolina and I would move those teams to Ontario and Portland or Seattle. This would leave us with 28 teams and the following conference/division breakdown. Western conf. Pacific div. Portland/Seattle, Los Angeles, San Jose, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Phoenix; Western conf. Central div. Colorado, Minnesota, Dallas, St. Louis, Detroit, Ontario, Chicago. Eastern Conf. Northern Div. Toronto, Ottawa, Buffalo, Montreal, Boston, Pittsburgh, Columbus and finally Eastern Conf. Southern Div. New York, New Jersey, Philly, Atlanta, Tampa, Florida and Washington. You would play div rivals 6 times for 36 games, conf rivals 4 times for 28 games. Each team in the other conference once including two games against one team in each division for 16 games. This leaves you at 80 games. The last two games would be a home and home against a natural rival chosen by the league each year to get us to 82 games. This would allow each team to play everyone each year, and by going to 28 teams you would improve the overall quality of the game. Of course this will never happen under Bettman, but I think it would be great!
August 1, 2007 5:43 PM ET | Delete
I agree that Winnepeg would be and excellent an expansion choice, but hockey is a man's game and I don't think it could draw well in the effeminate Northwest. A better choice would be Kansas City.On the other hand, I don't think expansion is a good idea at this time due to lack of fan interest. Just look at the abysmal ratings number for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Admittedly, the two teams in the final series were not exactly thrilling to watch. The players, for the most part, lacked charisma and the series wasn't even close.The NHL has to build a large enough fan base and get National medial coverage before it can even consider further expansion and further deterioration in the quality of play.Expansionists! Dream On!
August 1, 2007 10:03 PM ET | Delete
Funny how the Flyer fan thinks the Isles should be gone...still upset about Nystrom!?!!!!?!?!?!? Isles aren't going anywhere.....
August 2, 2007 2:56 AM ET | Delete
HOUSTON we have a problem...no NHL team.
August 2, 2007 8:34 AM ET | Delete
There is a reason why a Winnipeg group has never surfaced during the sale talks of the Penguins, Blues or Predators.
August 2, 2007 9:53 AM ET | Delete
Sorry to disappoint you Clebo99, but I have nothing against the Islanders. I simply see a team with an older stadium that will soon if not now need replacing and a team that has never drawn well even when they were winning cups. I have seen the Flyers play the Isles in Nassau 5 times. Each time I bought tix at the door right before the game. Try doing that in Philly! I just don't think the market in NY/North Jersey is strong enough to support 3 teams, and I don't see NY taxpayers or Isles ownership putting up cash for a new stadium any time soon. Its not personal, just business.
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