For those who were still miffed at the whole Winnipeg in the Southeast thing, we have good news. The NHL did something "radical." I know it must be radical because the Twitter box told me so.
Aw hell let's just see what the league has to say:
The makeup of the yet-to-be-named four conferences is as follows:
* Boston, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Buffalo, Florida and Tampa Bay
* Detroit, Columbus, Nashville, St. Louis, Chicago, Minnesota, Dallas and Winnipeg
* Los Angeles, Anaheim, Phoenix, San Jose, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Colorado
In essence they kicked Minnesota out of the NW (raise your hand if you'll miss them) and Dallas out of the Pacific and merged the remaining souls. Four teams in each conference make the cut to the post season. Can Vancouver hang in the top 50% of the new Sports Action * conference?
Some more rules:
In the seven-team conferences, teams would play six times -- three home, three away. In the eight-team Conferences, teams would play either five or six times in a season on a rotating basis; three teams would play each other six times and four teams would play each other five times. This process would reverse each season: An eight-team Conference member that plays an opponent six times in one season would play it five times the following season.
The top four teams in each Conference qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The first-place team would play the fourth-place team; the second-place team would play the third-place team. The four respective Conference champions would meet in the third round of the Playoffs, with the survivors playing for the Stanley Cup.
So much for that Chicago hate. Who will fill the dead injun's void now?
And not lost in all of this is the possibility that the Cup final can now be East/East or West/West. Nice idea until the league execs keep pushing the idea of the
Caps/Penguins year after gut wrenching year just kidding they're in the same conference. That also kills the dream of a Canucks/Flames final. Sob accordingly.
* Note: Until they get a name I say go the gambling route.
Update: From the always mathematical On The Forecheck, the new mileage for the conferences. The West, as expected, still loses and Lou's Devils are safe from TSA gropings for the foreseeable future.
|Central Conference||Avg. Dist.||West Conference||Avg. Dist.|
|Chicago Blackhawks||434||Anaheim Ducks||743|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||524||Calgary Flames||875|
|Dallas Stars||846||Colorado Avalanche||886|
|Detroit Red Wings||530||Edmonton Oilers||1008|
|Minnesota Wild||557||Los Angeles Kings||737|
|Nashville Predators||549||Phoenix Coyotes||812|
|St. Louis Blues||460||San Jose Sharks||745|
|Winnipeg Jets||863||Vancouver Canucks||895|
|East 1 Conference||Avg. Dist.||East 2 Conference||Avg. Dist.|
|Boston Bruins||637||Carolina Hurricanes||366|
|Buffalo Sabres||535||New Jersey Devils||173|
|Florida Panthers||1087||New York Islanders||191|
|Montreal Canadiens||617||New York Rangers||177|
|Ottawa Senators||576||Philadelphia Flyers||164|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||1013||Pittsburgh Penguins||289|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||553||Washington Capitals||195|