NHL Re-Alignment Plan. Some Things To Like. Some Not
Isn't it funny how simple and easy the NHL changes things while a sport like Major League Baseball debates things forever before making any changes. MLB just reconfigured some of their divisions by telling the Houston Astros to beat it to the AL and now having Interleague play just about every night. So difficult. So convoluted. Creating more more headaches then was before. Meanwhile the NHL gets in an office with reps from all teams virtually,hashes about different views and bing a new alignment plan. Some of the changes are a bit radical and some pretty simple. I like some of it and don't like some other aspects although no major protests from me. Here is what I don't like in the not yet ratified plan. No longer will playoffs seeding be figured 1-8 with 8 playing 1,7 playing 2,6 battling 3,and 4 meeting 5..I kinda like that. Now each conference will send their top 4 teams to the playoff party with their being 4 divisions (for NHL purposes these are now conferences) made up of 7 or 8 teams.. The 2 conferences in the West will have 8 teams each and in the East 7 teams each for 2 conferences...4 will now play 1 and 2 will mix it up with 3 in each conference and then the 2 winners of each will get it on. The league has not yet figured how the 4 remaining survivors will commence.. I personally like the 1-8,2-7,3-6 and 4-5 deal....But no major protest just have to get used to the changes. It will create more hatred for conference foes although I am not sure how much more I can hate the Flyers.
What I really like is that geographical rivalries were not messed with. 1 plan floated had Detroit coming east and while selfishly that would have been nice keeping them in the West to mix it up with the Av's,Blackhawks and Sharks amungst others is good...For those of us in the east not much changes except the Washington Capitals move back into a division with the Rangers,Devils and Islanders in addition to Carolina being welcomed to the yet unamed Conference. The 1 thing I really like is every team will get a visit from every squad and also have to visit that team. the NHL got away from having a minimum of at least 2 matches against each club thus if you are or were in Phoenix like I was for almost 20 years we wouldn't see the Penguins,Caps,Rangers et el on a yearly basis..Now each team will have a home and home at least vs conferences from the other side..I like that. Every fan of every team will at least get to see every team come to their building at least once per year. this is a very good thing in my opinion. Good job NHL showing other sports how you can make the complex simple and not have to change virtually the entire sport to make it work