Found March 03, 2013 on
Blue Seat Blogs:
This past week there were many reports indicating that the NHL will soon announce a four division realignment plan as opposed to just swapping Winnipeg for Detroit, Columbus, or Nashville.
As you can see above with this great map, the realignment plan will consist of 16 teams in the East and 14 teams in the West. The scheduling plan is for division opponents to play each other four times a season and the rest of the league at least twice a year.
Here are some pros and cons to go with this new plan.
Red Wings To The East
The Red Wings have long complained to NHL HQ about travel woes and the desire to move to the East. Until now, the NHL has never really had any reason to consider swapping the Red Wings for another team.
Obviously the benefit for Detroit would be less late games and a lighter travel schedule, but the NHL could also boost ratings by rehashing old rivalries with the other Original 6 teams (minus Chicago), not to mention more games against the Flyers, Penguins and the Capitals.
Another benefit is a likely boost in attendance figures in Carolina and the two Florida teams. While those teams have drawn well the last 2 seasons, this is just another mini-game plan they can sell at a premium price.
Blue Jackets To The East
The Blue Jackets don’t bring the promise of boosting other team’s ratings and attendances, but they will get a boost themselves. The Jackets would obviously benefit at the gate (which they need) from seeing Crosby, Ovie and Nash more frequently and they could gain more exposure nationally as a result.
If you work for the CBJ’s marketing department, you are probably salivating at the chance to create ticket plans around Original 6 teams, Atlantic teams, all the while maintaining your geographic rival with Detroit.
Blackhawks lose a rival
Of course the drawback of Detroit moving east would be the demise of the Blackhawks/Red Wings rivalry, which would leave the Western Conference with zero rivalries for NBC Sports to milk. Sure the inter-California rivalries are great for growing hockey in the silicone state, but as far as national TV ratings go – they don’t move the dial.
Hopefully the Avalanche, St. Blues and Minnesota Wild can take the next step from a competitive standpoint. The Wild certainly have marketable players and St. Louis – in my qualitative opinion – is one of the best sports towns in the country. Hopefully they can fill the void left by Detroit.
More travel for the Bolts and Panthers
It is kind of odd the Lightning and the Panthers will have to fly over the new “Atlantic” division to get to their own division rivals, not to mention the increased travel costs. However, you would think that the additional travel costs will be offset by increased attendance figures in their respective arenas now that they will be playing Original 6 teams more frequently.
Of course, that’s just my theory. Hopefully someone at the NHL did some financial analysis and forecasting to see if that’s true. But then again, this is the NHL we are talking about.
At first glance, the playoff format favors the Western conference. Eight out of 14 teams make the playoffs in the West, while eight out of 16 teams make the playoffs in the East. From a competitive standpoint, this seems unfair.
With that said, relocation and expansion is going to happen sooner rather than later. I’ve been talking about getting a team in Seattle for years. The one thing holding them back was a government unwilling to plunk down some dollars on a new arena. That’s changed recently and it’s only a matter of time before the NHL capitalizes and sets up shop.
At the end of the day, you will probably see a lift in the ratings and attendance figures. When those two things go up, the old saying rings true. “A rising tide lifts all ships.”
BEST OF MAXIM
The Detroit Red Wings have made a habit out of playing to their competition this season.
Detroit has somehow found a way to lose at home to bottom-feeding Columbus, then turn around and dominate games against Nashville and Vancouver.
The Red Wings have been hot-and-cold all season, and that trend continued in their most recent game against the Blackhawks. The Red Wings looked outmanned...
Via both Paul and my pal NHL Gossip, the Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson posted a less-than-surprising but still intriguing quip about Red Wings forward Valtteri Filppula's contract demands (according to MLive's Ansar Khan, Filppula's sore shoulder's keeping him from practicing this morning)...
- The Detroit Red Wings are in a pickle with Val Filppula, who...
Given fans' reactions to an exchange at the very end of Red Wings coach Mike Babcock's press conference, conducted after the Wings' 2-1 shootout loss to Chicago--as I happened to mention on Twitter--you'd think that Mike Babcock signed his epitaph.
97.1 the Ticket's Mike Stone asked Babcock if he'd thought about placing Tomas Tatar and Joakim Andersson alongside...
Red Wings forward Damien Brunner spoke to NHL.com's Brian Hedger today (via RedWingsFeed), and Brunner offered a surprisingly stark assessment of the progress he's made as a 26-year-old rookie (he's not eligible for the Calder Trophy, but a rookie is a rookies) because Brunner has a surprisingly high standerd to meet--his own:
"For sure, I want to prove that...
After the Detroit Red Wings dropped a 2-1 shootout decision to the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday, I weighed in with my dissatisfaction, and then, in the comments section, so did you. Things apparently got heated enough that my quip about Mike Babcock's line machinations was taken as a personal attack, and if I am anything, I'm a blogger who's learned that one should never...
Obviously I disagree with Mike Babcock here, but I'm biased towards winning, so maybe my opinion doesn't matter. What do you all think about his latest comments regarding Tatar and the second line?
From the Red Wings' PR department:
FANS ASKED TO WEAR PINK TUESDAY FOR BREAST CANCER AWARENESS NIGHT PRESENTED BY TEAM REHAB
… Fans who Wear Pink to Tuesday’s Game can Enter to Win 2012-13 Team-Signed Jersey …
Detroit, MI… Fans are asked to wear pink this Tuesday, Mar. 5, for Breast Cancer Awareness Night presented by Team Rehab when the Wings take on the...
DETROIT As far as statement games go, the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks basically said the same things they've been saying all season.
For the Wings, they showed they're still a work in progress.
For the Blackhawks, they showed they're a cohesive group clicking on all cylinders.
The Blackhawks came into the game on a record-setting points pace to open the...
Updated at 12:22 PM: The Red Wings hope to rebound from their loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday as they play seven more games over the next two weeks, starting with a game against Colorado tomorrow night, but it doesn't sound like they're going to get unrestricted free agent-to-be Valtteri Filppula's services back any time soon:
Wings on ice for practice...
For a period of time this afternoon, it looked as if the Chicago Blackhawks record streak of at least some points in 21 consecutive games was going to come to an end at the hands of the Detroit Red Wings. A couple costly penalties and a late game tying goal changed that in the blink of an eye and the streaking Blackhawks...
The Detroit Red Wings have a bear and a half of a task in front of them today. The Chicago Blackhawks come to town (12:30 PM EST, NBC/NHL Network Canada/97.1 FM) on a 18-0-and-3 streak, having won 8 straight games and possessing a stunning (according to the AP) 7-0-and-1 record at Joe Louis Arena and a 4-game winning streak against the Wings.
You'd think that these stats might...
The Toronto Sun's Mike Zeisberger spoke to St. Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrong about the possibility that the Red Wings might move to an Eastern-team-dominated "conference" under the league's realignment plan. Armstrong probably speaks for every other Western Conference GM, and most certainly the Wings' other big Central Division rivals, Chicago and Nashville...
Detroit Red Wings @ Chicago Blackhawks
12:30 Eastern/11:30 Central
Joe Louis Arena, Detroit
NBC/NHL Network/WGN Radio
Wings versus Hawks. Storied rivals. Master against pupil. Old Boss meet New Boss. Beyond the usual subtext, there's an NHL record at stake, one the Wings can put to an end on their home ice. And just to make matters a...