NHL Realignment Bad for Wings?

NHL Realignment Plan Conflicting for Red Wings

3/18/13 in NHL   |   Andrew_Ericksen   |   230 respect

Feb 17, 2013; St. Paul, MN, USA; Detroit Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg (40) and Pavel Datsyuk (13) against the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center. The Wild defeated the Red Wings 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY SportsMoving the Houston Astros to the American League doesn’t cause many baseball fans to lose sleep.  The Columbus Blue Jackets and Winnipeg Jets fanbases similarly don’t have too much to worry about as they switch conferences next year.  But in switching the conference of a storied organization such as the Red Wings, a great deal of NHL supporters will be raising questions - yours truly included.
 
It’s not the same magnitude as moving the Yankees to the National League - that’s just sports blasphemy right there - but the Red Wings have formed such a compelling rivalry with so many Western Conference foes that it’s going to be bizarre and disorienting to see them fighting other teams in the standings.
 
This isn’t meant to be anything of a knock on the Eastern Conference, which today can pretty much go head-to-head with the West in terms of quality teams, but playoffs are a special thing in Hockeytown, and it’s painful to me knowing that the only way the Wings can match up in the postseason against the likes of Chicago, San Jose, Vancouver, St. Louis, Anaheim or Colorado is in the Finals.  Sure, they get to play each team twice (both home and away) during the regular season under the new plan and of course I’ll still root equally hard for the boys in red against Pittsburgh (which should end up being a pretty amazing rivalry) as well as Montreal, Boston, Toronto and the New York Rangers (fellow Original 6 members), but it’s going to take a few years at least before those series really mean as much as the ones the Wings have had in the past few decades.
 
The Red Wings personnel is generally happy with the news of the transition, solely because the team won’t have to deal with as many time zone changes and long flights.  It’s completely understandable, as the new plan proposes a clear and concise schedule for each team and better suites Detroit, Columbus and Winnipeg geographically:
 
EASTERN CONFERENCE TEAMS (Each Division has 8 teams)

- Within Division: 5 games vs. 2 teams, 4 games vs. 5 teams
- Within Conference, Outside Division: 3 games vs. each team
- Outside Conference: 2 games vs. each team
  
WESTERN CONFERENCE TEAMS (Each Division has 7 teams)
 
- Within Division: 5 games vs. 5 teams, 4 games vs. 1 team
- Within Conference, Outside Division: 3 games vs. each team
- Outside Conference: 2 games vs. each team
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3/22/13   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

Andrew_Ericksen wrote:
That's a really interesting proposal.  I'd love to see something like that as I'm not too partial towards East vs. West as well.

And as for the Astros moving from AL to NL vs. Wings moving from West to East, we're talking a 50-year-old organization with 8 playoff births and no titles vs. an 85-year-old organization with 11 titles.  No disrespect to the Astros, as I loved the Killer-Bees years, but that's just the fact of it.  Granted I'm a little bias being raised in Detroit vs. Houston, but I've never felt like the Astros have held a very intriguing rivalry with any of their NL foes like the Cardinals or Cubs or anyone.  I feel like Astros fans will root for them against their in-state opponent Rangers at least as hard as they would against former NL Central opponents.  For the Wings, beating Montreal or Toronto won't mean nearly as much to me as beating Chicago or San Jose or Vancouver.  And the Avalanche rivalry in the mid-90s was undoubtedly one of the top rivalries of the past 2 decades.  Now it's no more.

Forced to disagree with the idea that moving the Wings is a bigger deal than the Astros.  It doesn't matter how many post seasons a team went through or how good they are or aren't.  The Astros have ALWAYS been an NL team.  The Wings have ALWAYS been an NHL team.  And they have swapped divisions many times over the last 5 decades already.  Let's face it.  They are kind of used to it.  Plus no NHL team has deep roots to whatever conference they are in as opposed to an MLB team with what League they are in.  It's just different.

Thanks for being open to my realignment idea, however.  I'd like to see it but I know the NHL powers would never ever go for it.

3/22/13   |   Andrew_Ericksen   |   230 respect

ML31 wrote:
First of all, moving the Astros to from the AL to the NL is a HUGE deal.  Way more noteworthy than moving any NHL team to or from any Conference.

Now that that's out of the way...  Big deal?  In my view the NHL Conferences are pretty arbitrary anyway.  Not a huge fan of what they did.  There is no reason for the East to have two more teams than the west.  None.  Even though it makes things a tad easier for the western teams.  But I was never a fan of the East vs West finals to begin with.  The way the NHL SHOULD realign is to go to abolish the Conferences altogether.  Go to the one league with 3 10 team divisions.  Play 4 games against the other 9 divisional teams and 2 (home and home) against the other 20.  That makes 76 games.  If you HAVE to have 82 games then just tag on the extra 6 games anywhere.  It doesn't really matter.  Then the Division winners are seeded #1, 2 & 3 for the playoffs and the other 13 teams are in based on points.  Seed teams 1-16 and let the post season commence!  That way, you still get the possibility of a Toronto-Montreal final or a Calgary-Edmonton final or a San Jose-Anaheim final.  It would make the playoffs more fun than they already are and make of a whole lot more new and interesting match ups. 

Where is it written that the league HAS to be of an East-West Conference format?  Come on NHL!   Wake up!!!

That's a really interesting proposal.  I'd love to see something like that as I'm not too partial towards East vs. West as well.

And as for the Astros moving from AL to NL vs. Wings moving from West to East, we're talking a 50-year-old organization with 8 playoff births and no titles vs. an 85-year-old organization with 11 titles.  No disrespect to the Astros, as I loved the Killer-Bees years, but that's just the fact of it.  Granted I'm a little bias being raised in Detroit vs. Houston, but I've never felt like the Astros have held a very intriguing rivalry with any of their NL foes like the Cardinals or Cubs or anyone.  I feel like Astros fans will root for them against their in-state opponent Rangers at least as hard as they would against former NL Central opponents.  For the Wings, beating Montreal or Toronto won't mean nearly as much to me as beating Chicago or San Jose or Vancouver.  And the Avalanche rivalry in the mid-90s was undoubtedly one of the top rivalries of the past 2 decades.  Now it's no more.

3/22/13   |   Andrew_Ericksen   |   230 respect

romeldhalla wrote:
I know we're a "new" team, and our city isn't huge, but I believe the name of the city is still correct in most spell check programs. It's spelt Winnipeg, with two "i"s and no "e". Just a friendly FYI.

Sorry about that!  No disrespect to the Jets or Winnipeg, slipped through spell-check some how, but I sincerely apologize and the correction has been made.  Thanks for the FYI and good luck in the West!

3/20/13   |   ML31   |   3675 respect

First of all, moving the Astros to from the AL to the NL is a HUGE deal.  Way more noteworthy than moving any NHL team to or from any Conference.

Now that that's out of the way...  Big deal?  In my view the NHL Conferences are pretty arbitrary anyway.  Not a huge fan of what they did.  There is no reason for the East to have two more teams than the west.  None.  Even though it makes things a tad easier for the western teams.  But I was never a fan of the East vs West finals to begin with.  The way the NHL SHOULD realign is to go to abolish the Conferences altogether.  Go to the one league with 3 10 team divisions.  Play 4 games against the other 9 divisional teams and 2 (home and home) against the other 20.  That makes 76 games.  If you HAVE to have 82 games then just tag on the extra 6 games anywhere.  It doesn't really matter.  Then the Division winners are seeded #1, 2 & 3 for the playoffs and the other 13 teams are in based on points.  Seed teams 1-16 and let the post season commence!  That way, you still get the possibility of a Toronto-Montreal final or a Calgary-Edmonton final or a San Jose-Anaheim final.  It would make the playoffs more fun than they already are and make of a whole lot more new and interesting match ups. 

Where is it written that the league HAS to be of an East-West Conference format?  Come on NHL!   Wake up!!!

3/20/13   |   romeldhalla

no "e" in that spot anyway. and now we're both extra sure.

3/20/13   |   romeldhalla

I know we're a "new" team, and our city isn't huge, but I believe the name of the city is still correct in most spell check programs. It's spelt Winnipeg, with two "i"s and no "e". Just a friendly FYI.