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"2 Minutes For Interference"
Canada • Canada •
I was looking over one of my favorite forums and on there was a map showing the locations of all the teams in the league. This picture awoke me (already knew that it was bad) of how unfair the eastern teams have it.

These are prime examples of advantages out east. Drury moves from Buffalo to New York... He doesn't really have to move. Gomez moves from New Jersey to New York... Now he DOES NOT have to move. Briere goes from Buffalo to Philadelphia, a bit of a distance, but still can get away without moving.
All those examples show how the east has a huge advantage in travel. The West has almost no teams within that range other than the triangle between Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver (provided they are flying) or in California. Even those teams have it worse when than almost anyone in the East.

The article of the 2 conferences with 2 divisions that Sportsnet had a few months back came back to my head. Sure in both you would have divisions of 7 and 6 teams, however if the playoff format is done right, that won't matter too much, and you can have some weird schedule with the extra team playing this team this year like the current schedule in terms of western playing eastern teams.

This also brings the possibility of expansion into the NHL. Good or bad for the league (I feel more teams are NOT needed in the league) but if the NHL was considering this would definitely make it easier to add in say Las Vegas and Hamilton (not going to happen).

Also the divisions would still give the eastern teams the advantage so they cannot complain, however would help the western conference teams stay to their closest opponents more often.

And the last big benefit I can see of adopting a 2 division per conference system is: No more playing a team 8 times a year. When 32 of the 82 games in the season are played against just 4 teams, those games are hugely important and could cost a team the playoffs in just those games. 8 games versus division rivals is just TOO much, and needs to be adjusted. Having more teams in the division will solve this, and also give rivalries more heat and some rivalries to occur more often. One other thing that would have to be done is for western teams to play eastern teams at least once a season. This year not all Canadian teams will play each other, and for a Canadian sport, this is hugely disappointing and upsetting that the current schedule does not allow it.

However we can hope for one thing: Canadian team vs. Canadian team for the cup.

Thats my 2 minutes, thanks for reading.
Filed Under:   realignment   eastern   western   nhl   Canada  
July 19, 2007 2:27 PM ET | Delete
Now imagine your team being located in the Eastern Time Zone.....and having to play in the Western Conference!!! Detroit is the team that is most victimized by this ridiculous scheduling system. At least you don't have to watch your team play nearly a third of its schedule against the dregs of the NHL (Chicago, Columbus and St. Loser). Things could be worse....
July 19, 2007 3:17 PM ET | Delete
but at the same time makes it extremely easy for detroit to make playoffs... they have it easy this year... who is left to challenge them? nashville.. nope... columbus.. nope, st.louis... nope....chicago.... nope... The 2 divisions / conference might also fix that problem and make it more balanced in terms of skill in each division, and also for more exciting hockey against higher tier teams in the league more often.
July 19, 2007 4:28 PM ET | Delete
I agree it makes our schedule easier. But most Wings fans would trade that for a more balanced scheduled like it was before the lockout. Rarely getting to see Original Six teams Montreal, NYR, Boston and Toronto is no fun for us. Especially Toronto since it is so close. There are still goats in the other divisions too (Edmonton, LA for example) so our schedule would not be drastically tougher.
July 21, 2007 2:31 AM ET | Delete
We should play every team twice excluding our division...(50 games) leaving 32 games or 8 games a season per division rivals...Another idea...an expansion team for Hamilton and for Vegas. Add one game to the season (83 games). Then with 32 teams you could make 2 divisions per conference with each division organized by geographical location. You play every team outside your division twice. (48 games). Then you play 5 games each season against division rivals (35 games). 35 48=83.
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