After a failed realignment plan that was smack downed by the NHLPA last season, the league has a new plan. Question is, is it any better than last time.
The NHL would shrink the size of the divisions from six to four. The Eastern Conference would have the Atlantic and Central Divisions while the Western Conference would have the Mid-West and Pacific Divisions. All this info is according to a leak to ESPN.
Here is how the new divisions would look, each team also has a home-and-home with teams in the other conference.
Columbus Blue Jackets
New Jersey Devils
New York Islanders
New York Rangers
Detroit Red Wings
Tampa Bay Lightning
Toronto Maple Leafs
St. Louis Blues
Los Angeles Kings
San Jose Sharks
The top three teams in each division would qualify for the playoffs, while the next two best records in each conference would earn a wild card. The division winner with the most points would play the lowest wild card seed and the other division winner would play the other wild card.
This realignment is terrible, it has two glaring problems. First problem is all geographic, just look at the Central Division. Florida and Tampa Bay are going to have a lot of travel ahead of them and Columbus is nowhere close to being on the east coast. Next is Detroit going to the Eastern Conference where they have rivalry with no team in their division. They are losing their rivalry with Chicago, St. Louis, and Nashville.
My solution for realignment would be simple, move Nashville to the southeast division and move Winnipeg to the Central. Is it really that difficult? Stop trying to fix a paper cut by chopping off the whole hand.
John is the NHL Editor-in-Chief for The Inscriber Magazine. Follow him on Twitter @JohnnyMacNHL. E-mail JohnnyMachurek@TheInscriber.com.