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The 7 - Hockey - NHLPA blocks realignment
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CRZ
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#1 Posted on 6.1.12 2216.29
Reposted on: 6.1.19 2229.01
From the Wild blog of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (blogs.twincities.com)...

    Realignment shot down, for now

    6 January, 2012

    The NHL announced this afternoon that the NHL Players Association rejected the league’s realignment plan for next season, which would have moved the Wild into an eight-team conference with many of its neighbors and the North Stars’ traditional rivals. The NHLPA said the league gave it a Friday deadline to vote, and when it didn’t get more time to discuss the issue, it voted to reject it.

    There’s obviously a contentious series of labor negotiations coming up this summer, and this may only qualify as saber-rattling in advance of those. But assuming the league is serious about its assertion that the current six-team format will stay the same for 2012-13, it has a major effect on the Wild.

    They’ll stay in the Northwest Division, with Colorado, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver, instead of joining Chicago, Winnipeg, Detroit, Dallas, Columbus, St. Louis and Nashville in a new conference. The league had also planned to stage the first two rounds of the playoffs between inter-conference foes, bringing back the system used in the old Wales and Campbell conferences. It had won praise around the game, but it’s at least on hold for now.

    Wild owner Craig Leipold had this to say in an email.

      “To say I am disappointed in the actions of the NHLPA to deny consent to implement realignment for next season is an understatement. Our fans were universally excited to be playing against Midwestern teams in the previous old Norris Division. I’m disappointed for our fans, our employees and our players. It appears everyone wanted this to happen except the leaders of the players union. I pledge to Wild fans to continue to pursue this realignment plan as aggressively as possible.”

This augurs well. :/
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Texas Kelly
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#2 Posted on 6.1.12 2255.49
Reposted on: 6.1.19 2256.01
    Originally posted by CRZ
    But assuming the league is serious about its assertion that the current six-team format will stay the same for 2012-13

Is it just me, or does it strike me that the NHLPA just signed the relocation papers for the Phoenix Coyotes? The NHL can't do anything radical with the divisions as originally proposed, but they can move Phoenix to Quebec City and have them swap divisions with Winnipeg - it's not ideal, but it should be 100% doable without the interference of the NHLPA.

Regardless, this isn't a good sign for the labor negotiations following this season, but I'm actually on the side of the players on this one if they're telling the truth about the lack of information they were given about the realignment. I'm still not even 100% certain I'm for the realignment as agreed to, because it intrinsically unbalances the allotment of playoff berths in Eastern teams' favor while cutting back significantly on the number of different possibilities of playoff matchups. A 4-division layout only makes sense if you're willing to expand to 32 teams to keep things balanced, but the NHL isn't ready for that.
TheBucsFan
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#3 Posted on 6.1.12 2329.27
Reposted on: 6.1.19 2332.09
    Originally posted by Texas Kelly
    it intrinsically unbalances the allotment of playoff berths in Eastern teams' favor


What does this even mean?

More than half the teams in the NHL are in the eastern time zone, right? So it stands to reason that more than half of the playoff teams should come from the eastern time zone.

Do you think teams should be afforded a handicap because they are not in the eastern time zone? That's the only way your statement makes sense, as I understand it.
Peter The Hegemon
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#4 Posted on 8.1.12 0141.11
Reposted on: 8.1.19 0147.35
Maybe he means that the teams in the 7-team divisions have an easier road to the playoffs than the teams in the 8-team divisions? That's not really matter of Eastern vs. Western time zones--one of the 8-team divisions is all East--but it is true that there's an imbalance there.

EDIT: Sorry, I seem to have been looking at a site with the wrong information. ESPN says that in fact both 7-team conferences would be all-Eastern time zone, and both 8pteam conferences would be predominantly other time zones. So, there you go; that's what Texas Kelly was referring to. Makes sense to me.

(edited by Peter The Hegemon on 8.1.12 0256)
Chumpstain
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#5 Posted on 8.1.12 1146.41
Reposted on: 8.1.19 1147.04
It's speculated, however, that the reason the conferences were unbalanced with two 8 team conferences in the west and two 7 team conferences in the east was due to the uncertainty in Phoenix. If the Phoenix Coyotes franchise is dead in the water after this season and has to be moved (to Quebec City, or Hamilton?), then it could be shunted off to the east and allow for the conferences to be balanced.

That's assuming that Phoenix would be moving somewhere east as opposed to Kansas City or Seattle or something. But I presume the NHL would know more about that than me!
odessasteps
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#6 Posted on 8.1.12 1755.25
Reposted on: 8.1.19 1759.02

Realignment will probably be moot, since the impending lockout would like cause a shortening of the season anyway.

I don't know why the NHL would try to impose realignment without consultation with the PA in the first place.

Texas Kelly
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#7 Posted on 10.1.12 2029.12
Reposted on: 10.1.19 2029.44
    Originally posted by Peter The Hegemon
    ESPN says that in fact both 7-team conferences would be all-Eastern time zone, and both 8pteam conferences would be predominantly other time zones. So, there you go; that's what Texas Kelly was referring to. Makes sense to me.

Yes, that's the problem. The NHL tried to portray this realignment as a radical thing, when it effectively was nothing more than a way to shift Winnipeg west without bringing another team back east to balance the conferences out, thus unbalancing things in favor of the Eastern teams. (They even insisted on calling these 7 and 8 team divisions "conferences" as a means of covering that up.) Plus, I really do not like the idea of totally intra-divisional matchups for the first two playoff rounds, as it would deprive the playoffs of a lot of its variety and charm and promote having each division get dominated by a couple of powerhouse teams each year. So really I'm kinda glad this got blocked.

    Originally posted by Chumpstain
    It's speculated, however, that the reason the conferences were unbalanced with two 8 team conferences in the west and two 7 team conferences in the east was due to the uncertainty in Phoenix. If the Phoenix Coyotes franchise is dead in the water after this season and has to be moved (to Quebec City, or Hamilton?), then it could be shunted off to the east and allow for the conferences to be balanced.

    That's assuming that Phoenix would be moving somewhere east as opposed to Kansas City or Seattle or something. But I presume the NHL would know more about that than me!

It's almost certainly going to be Quebec City if it happens, IMO. The NHL's already talking with a potential owner and there are already plans for a new arena to break ground starting next year. Hamilton is not going to happen because it would be too damaging to my team (the Buffalo Sabres) and Jim Balsillie should have gotten the message by now, and the demand's just not there (or things not as far along as they are in Quebec) at any of the proposed US sites.

If the Quebec City move happens, bring them east and just do 2 conferences of 15 teams each. No divisions, top 8 teams per conference make the playoffs, playoffs the same way they've always been (because they WORK as they are). All the benefits, none of the downsides. If it doesn't happen, then you shift Columbus or Nashville east and be done with it. No need to reinvent the damn wheel.
JayJayDean
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#8 Posted on 11.1.12 1709.44
Reposted on: 11.1.19 1713.14
    Originally posted by Texas Kelly
    Plus, I really do not like the idea of totally intra-divisional matchups for the first two playoff rounds, as it would deprive the playoffs of a lot of its variety and charm and promote having each division get dominated by a couple of powerhouse teams each year. So really I'm kinda glad this got blocked.


You realize that the NHL USED to be this way, only instead of seven or eight teams per/division/conference/group/collection/assortment/clique there were only FIVE (except the Patrick Division, which had six teams). And this was AWESOME, because the teams in the same division HATED each other. It was the thing that set the NHL apart from other leagues, until Bettman somewhat turned it into "NBA on Ice".
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