FanDuel - WFBC

May 18, 2011

NHL's Musical Chairs: If the Atlanta Thrashers move to Winnipeg, this would necessitate a realignment. Do you do the most geographically logical switch? Do you give the longtime power Red Wings the move to the East that they want? Or do you try to help the struggling Columbus franchise by moving them to save travel costs?

posted by TheQatarian to hockey at 10:03 PM - 10 comments

I'm very much in the camp of doing the most geographically logical switch possible. Winnipeg pretty much has to be in the Northwest Division; that's a given. There's currently only one team in either conference that's a geographically logical fit to replace them in the Southeast, and that's Nashville. Then to balance out the divisions, the Wild move to the Central, which reunites them with their old Norris Division rivals in Detroit, Chicago and St. Louis. Simple and logical. (As a Wild fan, I've wanted to see them back in a division with their old rivals for a long time -- as opposed to their current division where the closest rival is 900 miles away -- so I'm a bit biased.)

The biggest problem to me with either Detroit or Columbus moving east is how you would replace Atlanta in the Southeast. Neither Detroit nor Columbus fits. And who in the East (aside from the teams already there) makes sense? Philly? New Jersey? They both seem well situated in their current division. Nashville just seems like the only sensible choice to me.

Of course, we must remember that Gary Bettman is in charge. That which is simple and logical is thus the least likely to happen.

posted by TheQatarian at 10:11 PM on May 18

There has been talk that if the Thrashers move to Winnipeg, they would still play in the Southeast division for a season, a la the Miami Heat's first NBA season in the Midwest division, pending a potential Coyotes move after next season. If the Coyotes move east, then it's a simple division re-alignment. If they stay in the west, then someone else would move east. I'd hope it was the Wings, but since Bettman has either utter disdain or outright hatred of our fair city, it looks like we'll have to live with 10:30 playoff start times.

As for teams not making geographic sense, does Dallas in the Pacific division make more sense then, say, Vancouver? I know they're not exactly Northwest, but there's not even a Pacific coastline in Texas...

posted by MeatSaber at 10:56 PM on May 18

Minny vs Winny is actually a pretty natural rivalry though hard to see how to have both in one division.

posted by rumple at 02:23 AM on May 19

Why not move Nashville to the SE Division?

posted by NoMich at 06:54 AM on May 19

does Dallas in the Pacific division make more sense then, say, Vancouver?

No, but they should just call that division the "Southwest Division". Problem solved. :-)

Colorado and Dallas are kind of in no-man's lands as far as divisions go. There isn't really a good division to put either in. Their travel will suck no matter what.

Minny vs Winny is actually a pretty natural rivalry

It might seem that way, but they were were never division rivals previously to the best of my knowledge. Detroit, Chicago and St. Louis are much more natural rivals for the Wild than Winnipeg is -- Detroit and Chicago especially given their rivalries in baseball and football as well.

posted by TheQatarian at 08:44 AM on May 19

Bettman will never let the Wings move into the East. He will say we need the "draw" of Detriot to help grow the game & retain fans our West. The Wings are the most travled team in the NHL over the last 10 or 15 years. I think they could have won more Cups between '97 & '11 had they been in the East & always played 7 or 7:30 starts!

posted by directpressure at 10:05 AM on May 19

It might seem that way, but they were were never division rivals previously to the best of my knowledge. Detroit, Chicago and St. Louis are much more natural rivals for the Wild than Winnipeg is -- Detroit and Chicago especially given their rivalries in baseball and football as well.

As a Lions fan, the Vikings are my 3rd most hated team, behind the Cowboys and the Racists.

posted by apoch at 10:06 AM on May 19

Colorado and Dallas are kind of in no-man's lands as far as divisions go. There isn't really a good division to put either in. Their travel will suck no matter what.

And the Wings and Blue Jackets have a light travel schedule? Out of all of their intra-conference road games, only 3 are in the same time zone...against each other. They have to make as many as four or five western swings every season, depending on the schedule. That's just the regular season. Look at this year's playoffs. Had the Wings won game 7 vs. San Jose, their 3 opponents would have been Phoenix, San Jose, and Vancouver. That's a lot of 10:30 starts for us Wings fans.

As a Lions fan, the Vikings are my 3rd most hated team, behind the Cowboys and the Racists.

Ahead of the Packers and Bears? I mean, I hate the Cowboys too, but not THAT much.

posted by MeatSaber at 07:06 PM on May 19

But when the Wings play the East it sure is a lot easier for them. Compare Vancouver schedule with as much divisional travel (Colorado and minny) plus the eastern conference road trips are brutal. Detroit reall doesn't have a lot to complain about.

posted by rumple at 08:28 PM on May 19

According to the Globe, this has happened.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:04 PM on May 19

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