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Hope You Weren't Attached To That Whole Northwest Thing: NHL Approves Four Conference Format


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:

* New Jersey, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New York Rangers, New York Islanders, Washington and Carolina

* 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