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
Toronto Maple Leafs
Detroit Red Wings
New York Rangers
New York Islanders
New Jersey Devils
Tampa Bay Lightening
Chicago Black Hawks
St Louis Blues
Columbus Blue Jackets
San Jose Sharks
Los Angeles Kings
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?