Found December 06, 2011 on Fang Faction:

On Monday, the NHL announced a new plan for realignment that features four conferences and eliminates the six current divisions that are in place. The plan is set to make up for the move of The Winnipeg Jets (from Atlanta last offseason) and create conferences that make sense geographically. This new realignment could be set into motion as soon as next season.

Under the proposed rules, each team will have a home-and-home series with every team in the league, but since conferences will be smaller, fewer games will be played out of the geographical area (in theory, as this doesn't hold true for every single team).

The Predators will be in a conference with Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Minnesota, St. Louis and Winnipeg. This should cut back on the number of games that Nasvhille will be playing on the west coast, which could have at least some effect on the season. Fewer awkward travel dates, games that start two hours later than they normally would in Nashville, and consecutive games in different time zones could directly translate to fresh legs and increased energy on road trips. Once again, though, this is all speculative and "in theory."

One thing going against the Predators, at least in the near future, is that most of the teams in their new conference are very, very good. This doesn't concern me too much though, because with a couple of exceptions, these things are ususally cyclical. Nashville isn't exactly having an outstanding year, but there is still a lot of time left in this season, and then next season, to worry about how the standings will shake out at the end of next season.

Some teams, particularly those who may end up actually traveling MORE, will be opposed to this realignment. Personally, I think it's good because: 1.) It shows that the NHL is trying. The system in place wasn't perfect, although it wasn't necessarily bad, and so (as any professional sports league should) they are striving to make the overall product of the league better (this is particularly significant with the BCS system looking terrible for the 295th year in a row) and 2.) It seems like it will benefit the Predators and they happen to be my favorite team, so I'm in. I'm a total homer, a shameless homer really, and as long as it benefits my team, I'm good.

Below is the full list of each conference, named by a letter (this isn't final, hopefully they can come up with some really cool names):

 

 

Conference "A"
Anaheim
Calgary
Colorado
Edmonton
Los Angeles
Phoenix
San Jose
Vancouver


Conference "B"
Chicago
Columbus
Dallas
Detroit
Minnesota
Nashville
St. Louis
Winnipeg


Conference "C"
Boston
Buffalo
Florida
Montreal
Ottawa
Tampa Bay
Toronto


Conference "D"
Carolina
New Jersey
New York Islanders
New York Rangers
Philadelphia
Pittsburgh
Washington

 

It seems like most all of the significant rivalries will remain intact, which is critical for the NHL to keep the die-hard fans happy, while still changing things up enough to possibly spark some more outside interest among casual fans.

Now, if we can just find a way to get rid of shootouts...

THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Rinne ‘staying positive’, realignment and more

It’s no secret that Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne isn’t playing his best hockey right now. He hasn’t recorded a win in his last six starts and boasts an .872 save percentage in that time. Rinne believes this is just a bump in the road in a long season.“I’m just staying positive and working hard,” he said on Monday. “There are no magic tricks (to get back on track...

Preds prospect Watson cracks Team USA’s preliminary World Junior roster

Austin Watson, the Nashville Predators’ first round pick in 2010, has made the 2012 U.S. National Junior Team preliminary roster. If he sticks, it’ll be Watson’s first experience in World Junior Championship competition. The Ann Arbor, Michigan native plays for the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League. Watson has tallied 28 points in 28 games so far this season...

POTG Predators Seven Stories: Creative People Are Dishonest Edition

The big story of the last 24 hours was realignment. Here is a variety of posts from Nashville about the new line-up... Ryan Porth, Robby Stanley, Paul McCann, Dirk Hoag, Fang Faction, and the Tennessean.A ticket tax is being considered to fund Bridgestone Arena renovations and have the patrons fund the projects, much like what is happening at LP Field.Jim Diamond has a nice feature...

Hornqvist snaps pointless streak in loss to Coyotes

In the Nashville Predators’ 3-2 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes, forward Patric Hornqvist got off the schnide in the point column. Hornqvist assisted on Shea Weber’s game-tying power play goal with 7:07 remaining in the third period. It was his first point since a Nov. 9 game in Anaheim, snapping an 11-game pointless streak.Hornqvist’s assist was his 10th point in 11 career games...

VIDEO: Jordin Tootoo suspended two games for hit on Ryan Miller

The National Hockey League has suspended Nashville Predators forward Jordin Tootoo two games for his hit on Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller. The incident took place during Buffalo’s 3-2 win on Saturday night inside Bridgestone Arena. The maximum suspension Tootoo could’ve received was five games, per league rules. If a player facing disciplinary action has a hearing with...

Predators Lose Another Close One at Home to Phoenix

For the second game in a row, the Nashville Predators showed up at Bridgestone Arena and played well enough to win and came away with nothing in a 3-2 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes.The Predators found themselves in a 1-0 hole, nine seconds into the contest, when Taylor Pyatt received a favorable bounce off of a Lauri Korpikoski shot and snapped the puck past Pekka Rinne to give the...

The Morning After Round-Up: Sabres 3, Predators 2

Last night's game between Buffalo and Nashville was a typical 2-0 defensive snoozer for the sold out Bridgestone Arena crowd until late in the second period when Jordin Tootoo collided with Ryan Miller and brought the crowd and both teams to life.Probably at some point later today, Brendan Shanahan will review the matter and decide if it was a "hockey play" as...

Late push lifts Coyotes over Predators

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Keith Yandle scored with 1:45 remaining to give the Phoenix Coyotes a 3-2 victory over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night. Phoenix won its second straight game. Nashville has dropped six of eight. Ray Whitney and Taylor Pyatt also scored for Phoenix. Jack Hillen and Shea Weber had the Predators' goals. With the teams skating 4-on-4, Shane Doan...

Know the Enemy: Suter previews Phoenix

Predators defenseman Ryan Suter previews tonight's contest with the Phoenix Coyotes...

Jordin Tootoo hits Ryan Miller Dec 3, 2011

Jordin Tootoo hits Ryan Miller from the Buffalo Sabres at Nashville Predators game on Dec 3, 2011. Jordin Tootoo received a charging major and game misconduct. Paul Gaustad received a double roughing and misconduct. via http://www.hockeyfights.comLindy Ruff Post Game Rant - Sabres vs Predators - Dec 3, 2011 (HD)

NHL suspends Jordin Tootoo two games for Ryan Miller collision

After Nashville Predators forward Jordin Tootoo charged into Ryan Miller on Saturday night, Buffalo Sabres Head Coach Lindy Ruff opined after the game that he believed it was "open season" on goaltenders. (Keep in mind that Tootoo was given a five-minute major for charging and a game misconduct on Saturday.) Here was his team's No. 1 netminder getting run into again...

Game 27: Phoenix @ Nashville – Hair of the Dog

Photo Credit: John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images The Nashville Predators and the Phoenix Coyotes have met twice this year splitting the series. The first meeting was on Nashville ice where the Coyotes took the Predators to the woodshed in a 5-2 victory. Nashville exacted some revenge by beating the Coyotes in Glendale by a score of 3-0. The Coyotes are also coming on the tail-end...

NHL suspends Jordin Tootoo for two games

(source feed provided no summary content for this entry)

Phoenix Coyotes (14-9-3) at Nashville Predators (12-10-4), 8 p.m. (ET)

After blowing a three-goal lead last night, the Phoenix Coyotes were able to recover and squeak out a shootout victory. Dave Tippett hopes his club has something left in the tank tonight for a meeting with the Nashville Predators.
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.