from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News, The NHL doesn’t need divisions at all anymore.
What’s that? You’ve just done a spit-take and burst into tears only your team’s divisional championship banner can dry? Come off it. You know as well as I that nobody – not NHL players, not coaches or executives, and certainly not fan bases – give a rat’s rear where a team finishes in its division. These days, you’re either a top-eight team in your conference or you’re a slug looking at the playoffs from the outside. And even if you make the playoffs after having won your division, anything less than a Stanley Cup championship still will be considered a massive disappointment of a season.
Going to conference-only standings wouldn’t hurt divisional rivalries in the least. There’s nothing that says the teams that play each other six times a season right now couldn’t continue to do so. In fact, in an 82-game schedule, the league could continue traditional divisional team play at the present rate, have e