I often have to get out of bed and write something down before I can sleep; otherwise, my brain will spin about trying to first hash it out and then remember to write at a later time.1
So the NHL has embraced radical realignment. The more I think about the idea, the more I like it. It provides the league with flexibility for future team movement and also returns divisional—now conference—rivalries to the playoffs. The two thoughts rattling around relate to further realignment and conference naming.
Further realignment. It seems only a matter of time that Phoenix will move to another city, likely to Hamilton, Ontario or another similar locale. This would move the Coyotes from an eight-team conference into an area where seven-team conferences rule. But the eight-team conference concept can come with them. If Hamilton is indeed the destination for the Coyotes, you put the team in what’s being referred to right now as Conference “C”. There’s no rule saying that the two eight-team conferences have to be in the west. I had this thought as I was trying to figure out how to realign the west.
Conference naming. You’ve got two western and two eastern conferences. If you’re going to cop out, you can go with Western, Central, East (Conference “C”), and Mideast (Conference “D”). I think that this is boring. The Campbell Conference and Prince of Wales Conference have a background with the NHL, and I suggest bringing those names back and keeping the trophies associated with them for Conferences “A” and “C” respectively. To the pool, add new conferences and trophies: the Norris (Conference “B”) and Patrick (Conference “D). The two divisions now promoted to conferences consist of teams from those old divisions. This is simple and keeps us from having the Gretzky, Hull, Lemieux, and Orr Conferences.
- The writing at a later date rarely happens. [↩]