There’s a new proposal that’s going to be discussed at the upcoming Board of Governor’s meeting this coming weekend in Pebble Beach, and it will center around divisional realignment. The main subject of last night’s Hotstove on Hockey Night In Canada covered the new proposed setup. The idea is to have theses referred to as “conferences” not divisions, but that remains to be finalized. While the two Western Conference setups seem to make sense, with Phoenix as the wild card depending on where they end up, the East could affect both Florida teams significantly as far as travel is concerned.
Being in the same conference with Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Boston, Buffalo and Tampa makes for some very competitive games, should we be concerned about the travel to at least three of those cities, especially when there is a home and home matchup? Or am I just nit picking? The proposal has been reworked a few times, however when both Pittsburgh and Philadelphia complained about being split up, the new proposal was drawn up.
The schedule would work out so that each team would play a home and home against all teams in the other divisions (46 games) and the remaining games (36 games) would be played in the division. The first two rounds of playoffs would begin within the division, and then teams would be reseeded for the next two rounds.
The idea of trying to keep rivalries in tact seem to work for the most part, but the reseeding after the first two rounds could create some interesting semifinal matchups such as Florida/Chicago. Another interesting issue seems to be that there is one proposed division that is without a Canadian team. Is this an oversight, or was it done on purpose?
Larry Brooks indicates in his NY Post column today that the players may not be in favor of the new set up for a variety of reasons.
Puck Daddy feels that there are more pros than cons in the set up.
Travel aside, I like the how this looks, but also can see a few subtle changes that would preserve the rivalries. Obviously Florida and Tampa benefit from their proposed division since the “snowbirds” would be putting fans in our seats. However, We (Panthers) have more of a rivalry with Washington, Carolina, and Philadelphia than say Ottawa or Buffalo. Although I won’t miss watching Carolina dive all over the place six times a year.
So while your sitting around today watching football, or whatever it is your doing, hit the comment link above and tell us what you think about the proposed set up. The good news, we get to see every team at least once at home. The bad news? I’m still trying to find it.
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