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"Penguins Hockeybuzz Blog"
Pittsburgh, PA • United States • 48 Years Old • Male
What do the terms EASTERN, WESTERN, Atlantic, Northeast, Southeast, Central, Northwest and Pacific mean to you?

Unless you are explaining the weather or refering to geographical locations, they don't mean anything to me.

I don't recall the exact year the division and conference names were changed (somenone help me out on that one) but I do remember thinking "WHAT?!!!" at the time.

Today, I am still thinking "WHAT??!!??!"

Those map locations, originally designed to make the league more "accessible" to "would be" hockey fans, has done nothing but genericize the NHL. While the intent may have been good, the result isn't.

Some people will say that the old names were "cryptic"...but in my opinion, that actually helped the NHL be more distinctive and created an opportunity for dialogue between fans and "fans to be". You never hear anybody say "What does Northeast mean?" But, back in the day, people were naturally curious about why a division was named "Patrick" or "Norris" or "Smythe". And natural curiosity lead to questions...and questions with meaningful answers lead to the creation of a "memory marker", if you will. And most importantly, a sense of tradition was established.

The NHL teams compete for one of the oldest trophies in sports. A trophy and a league that is very deep in tradition. We need to bring that "tradition" back to the forefront and renaming the divisions and conferences is a step in the right direction.

I say we start a petittion to do this. Who's with me?

Don't worry about there being more teams and divisions than before, there are plenty of other people from the history of this sport who deserve to have their names tied to it...

Let's get the puck moving int he right direction...
Filed Under:   nhl   division names   conference names  
June 14, 2007 2:46 PM ET | Delete
I agree 110% with you. I hated when they changed it in 93 and I still get fired up over it.
June 14, 2007 3:28 PM ET | Delete
I agree. But, there are six divisions. So in addtion to Adams, Patrick, Smythe and Norris we need two more names. I say permanently confine Chicago to the Wirtz Division. And how about changing the Northeast Division to the Molson Division, which of course comes with free beer!
June 14, 2007 5:11 PM ET | Delete
Agree 100%. You can thank Mr. Bettman for the idea of geography in the naming of the divisions. The NBA had it and he came from there.
June 14, 2007 8:29 PM ET | Delete
Here Here! Bring back the old names! I am in on a petition.
June 14, 2007 8:47 PM ET | Delete
I completely disagree. Sure its good for you old guys, but new fans won't have a clue what division is which and what teams are in them. Hell I'm just 20, huge hockey fan...if it changed now I'd take awhile to figure it out. While it's all good for old time sake, its not good for the US and newer fans. Every other sport has an East/West type rankings of teams and the Central/West/East ect.. so Why should hockey be even more different.
June 14, 2007 9:45 PM ET | Delete
RockenTheJimmy - I see your point but this sentence is the exact reason why I would like to se eit chnaged back...Every other sport has an East/West type rankings of teams and the Central/West/East ect.. so Why should hockey be even more different. I think hockey is different and it should be a little different and that it's OK to be that way. It's part of what makes it special...at least in my book.If the names changed back then you might get a little history lesson in the process. And it's always good to honor the past in an appropriate way.
June 14, 2007 10:18 PM ET | Delete
Yeah. It would be cooler with division names. Though I do enjoy the fact that the Islanders were the last patrick division champions
June 14, 2007 10:22 PM ET | Delete
I take it back they werent the last division champions, they beat the division champions
June 17, 2007 6:57 PM ET | Delete
Yha, but for those of you that wouldnt understand it, or that it would take NEW fans a while to figure it out.... EVERY SINGLE FAN was a NEW fan at one time
June 17, 2007 11:24 PM ET | Delete
The Isles were the LAST Patrick Div champs, they had a banner up the next season
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