Note to Preds fans: I don't necessarily want to see the Preds move to Hamilton because I think they have a very solid base of real fans who deserve a better fate, and because their rivalry with the Blues has been intense in the past few years.
However, if they do move, there will be an imbalance in the league and it will probably lead to the addition to 2 new teams in the west. In my uninformed opinion, Las Vegas- because no other league has had the guts to go there and Winnipeg- because they deserve to get a team back, would be the best places to expand.
Here is my realignment idea for the 32 team NHL:
The only team really out of place geographically is Minnesota, but the natural rivalry with the Stars would make it work.
edit: I failed to mention the best part of a 32 team league- the schedule.
Teams would play 6 games vs divisional rivals (6x3=18)
Teams would play 4 games vs conference rivals (4x12=48)
Teams would play 1 game vs ALL
teams in other conference (1x16=16)
I would keep the PO structure the sam with the divisional winners getting the top 4 seeds and the best of the rest getting 5-8 in each conference.
Also, since Flyers fans seem very adament about staying with the Rangers and Devils, I have swapped them with the Sabres.
Not to be rude but i must point out a couple flaws in your arguement. 1. Hamilton has a very solid fan base. They have a championship AHL team, and draw from all over southern Ontario all the way up to Toronto. Hockey fans in TO would certainly make the trek to Hamilton if they allready go to Buffalo.2. In the recent wake of the Rick Tocchet situation I really don't see the NHL in Vegas. It would be a PR nihtmare.
minnesota would say no way b/c they would have an unfair travel disadvantage compared to the rest of the divisions..
Get rid of Las Vegas, throw in Houston. Pacific would be LA, ANA, SJ, VANSouthwest would be DAL, HOU, PHO, COLNorthwest would be MIN, WIN, CAL, EDM
You can't split the Atlantic like that. NYR and the Devils are huge rivals alone. Other than that good post.
Winnipeg.What would the playoffs look like, top two in each division?
the most major flaw is that this league does NOT need to expand. 30 teams is already too many.