Stupid Realignment Ideas

The NHL is always changing. From rule changes, to equipment restrictions, all the way up to expansion and relocation. Some things turn out great, some not so much. One idea that has come up is to realign the divisions. Partially, it’s to make travel easier. But other factors matter as well. The most important factor to me is rivalries.

We all watch sports to see the best athletes in the world.  But we love sports because we can take sides and root for one team and hate the rest.  Of course, over the time you grow to hate some teams much more than others.  That’s why some realignment idea’s are just plain stupid. Like this one, from a Columbus Blue Jackets blog.

Both options suck because it takes away the Devils and Rangers from us. We’re way too damn close and have way too much history to get rid of that division battle. Great, we get to have Pittsburgh and Washington. A pair of teams that historically go through cycles. The Pens have more bad years than good years.  Ditto for the Caps. If things end up as the first graphic shows, then we’ll be a division with some shitty hockey cities. Lot’s of poor fanbases, and cities that just don’t deserve teams.

The second graphic just moves Detroit into the division with Columbus. Let’s pause for a second to explain something to Blue Jackets fans. Detroit DOES NOT CARE ABOUT YOU. You may hate them because you were born into a division that they have dominated for your entire existence. But they see you as nothing more than a little blue pest. That’s not really a rivalry! Get over it! Wherever you end up, someone else will beat you often enough for you to start hating them and considering them public enemy #1.

Still, overall things are kinda close to how they really should be. But there’s plenty of room for tinkering. So let’s go with the assumption that the league really wants to go back to 4 divisions. The easiest way to go about that is to look at what we currently have, and just shift a few things around. Here’s my attempt:

Here’s a map for each division in case you need some help: Pacific, Central, Northeast, and Southeast. No matter what, Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary have a ton of traveling to do. Such is life for those teams, and there’s really no way around it. A few rivalries were broken up, such as Dallas/Minnesota. Although we could flip-flop Colorado and Dallas. But then we lose a potentially awesome Detroit/Colorado division rivalry. True, that would have been cooler 10 years ago, but it’s something that can be reborn.

Over in the East, the Southest division still sucks, but not as much. Carolina contends once in a while. Pitt and Washington won’t have to compete with some the hotter markets. We lose the Pens as a rival, but really it’s someone we’ve only begun to hate recently since they piled up draft picks while sitting at the bottom of the standings year after year. The Isles are another small market club that would benefit a bit by getting out of the Rangers shadow.

What do you think? Comment below. I do read them all, and respond to most of them.

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