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Thread: NHL approves new Conferences for 2012/2013

  1. #1
    IHF Staff Starkovs's Avatar
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    NHL approves new Conferences for 2012/2013

    Conference 1: Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Jose, Phoenix, Colorado, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton
    Conference 2: Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis, Minnesota, Winnipeg, Columbus, Dallas and Nashville
    Conference 3: Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Buffalo, Boston, Florida and Tampa Bay
    Conference 4: Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, NY Rangers, NY Islanders, New Jersey, Washington and Carolina

    Play-off format
    The top four teams in each Conference would qualify for the playoffs. The first-place team would play the fourth-place team; the second-place team would play the third-place team. The four respective Conference champions would meet in the third round of the Playoffs, with the survivors playing for the Stanley Cup.

    The division winners would be re-seeded for the Conference Finals based on regular season points totals. This opens up the possibility that two teams that are currently in the same conference could conceivably play each other in the Stanley Cup Final.


    http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=382065

  2. #2
    IHF Member Conesy's Avatar
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    I feel that while this could end up really well, it still looks a bit stupid IMHO. The potential for two teams in the same conference playing in the Stanley Cup just does not appeal to me at all.
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    IHF Member Bennison's Avatar
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    I don't see how two teams from one conference could play for the Stanley Cup? It was stated that the four conference winners would meet in the third round.

    1st round: 1st vs 4th, 2nd vs 3rd in each Conference
    2nd round: Winner vs Winner in each Conference
    3rd round: Conference winners face off
    4th round: Stanley Cup final.

    Only one team from each conference can make it to the third round...
    Cum bibam cervisia gaudeo.

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    IHF Staff Graham's Avatar
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    So, either Gary Bettman has never seen a map of the eastern coast of North America or he already knows that Florida and Tampa Bay are re-locating to Hamilton and Quebec City...

    And I agree with Bennison. While you may have two teams in the finals that may have been in the same conference in the current set-up, East and West does not exist within this new set-up. Therefore, only one team per conference in the third round.

    Graham.
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    IHF Staff Steigs's Avatar
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    Tampa's not going anywhere anytime soon. Reason the two Eastern divisions have 7 teams is so that when Phoenix moves to Quebec City each of East and West will have 15 teams (balanced)

  6. #6
    IHF Staff Graham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steigs View Post
    Tampa's not going anywhere anytime soon.
    It's OK. I was being facetious...

    Graham.
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    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    This is an article from Jon Rosen of Fox Sports, reprinted here in its entirety as "fair use" for educational purposes -

    --------------------------------------

    The NHL's Board of Governors approved a radical realignment plan Monday night that would mark the a shift away from conference-formatted NHL play and back towards the divisional system that came to define the expansion era groupings until the late 1990's.

    A New York Rangers – Montreal Canadiens Stanley Cup Final?

    A San Jose Sharks – Boston Bruins semifinal?

    It's all possible, beginning next year.

    Before we start talking logistics, let's get a few things straightened out.

    There will be four "conferences", two comprised of eight teams, and two comprised of seven teams.

    A) Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks, San Jose Sharks, Vancouver Canucks, Phoenix Coyotes, Colorado Avalanche, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers

    B) Detroit Red Wings, St. Louis Blues, Chicago Blackhawks, Winnipeg Jets, Minnesota Wild, Dallas Stars, Columbus Blue Jackets, Nashville Predators

    C) Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Montreal Canadiens, Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs

    D) New York Rangers, New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils, Philadelphia Flyers, Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins, Carolina Hurricanes

    While the term "conference" has been used exclusively, this is much more similar to the divisional setup abandoned prior to the 1998-99 season. The top four teams in each conference will make the playoffs, with 1 vs 4, 2 vs 3. When a winner emerges from each conference, the four remaining teams will be re-seeded based on total points, a particular that still has to be ratified by the general managers. The two remaining teams would then play each other in the Stanley Cup Finals.

    Teams would play six games against conference foes (three home, three away) and two games (one home, one away) against out of conference opponents each year.

    This is the key to realignment that should prove to be popular with fans. Fans have long – and rightfully – argued that they should have the opportunity to see every team in their own building once a year.

    With the conferences realigned to favor more games within a team's particular team's time zone or in an adjoining time zone, fewer road games will begin at 9:00 or 10:00, which will boost television ratings and allow for younger fans to follow their team away from home.

    Where the league will see its most significant benefit will be in the playoffs, where it's nearly guaranteed that games in the first two rounds will be between major regional rivals. There's a much higher possibility for the Rangers, Devils and Islanders to meet each other in the first round, or for the Blues, Blackhawks and Red Wings, or Sharks, Kings and Ducks. We could keep going. There are a lot of teams and fanbases that don't like each other.

    Not that it's the most important issue of the evening, but is it possible to resurrect the old divisional names – Smythe, Norris, Patrick and Adams? They hold nostalgic significance to a lot of fans, and why not, anyway? It certainly sounds better than "West/Pacific", "Central" "Northeast" and "Atlantic". The structure is such that the old divisions are almost completely intact (with some expansion / relocated teams), save Toronto's move from the Norris to what would now resemble the Adams.

    While it appeared realignment was met with a generally positive response from fans, there are several drawbacks towards the new format.

    There are now fewer out-of-division rivalry games. The Canadiens would visit Madison Square Garden only once each season. Ditto for Blackhawks-Canucks, Avalanche-Red Wings and Philadelphia-Boston.

    More importantly, teams currently in the seven-team conferences (currently listed as C and D) would only have to finish better than three teams to make the playoffs, while teams in the eight-team conferences have an extra team to contend with.

    Baseball has moved away from a similar predicament by moving the Houston Astros to away from the [previously] six team NL Central to the four-team AL West for 2013, where they'll compete against fewer teams for a playoff berth.

    Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly also indirectly referred to perhaps a heavier travel burden for teams based on opposite coasts, which are now going to be spending a few more nights in time zones either three hours ahead or behind.

    "I think there's going to be a little more of a travel burden for most of the clubs in the league," Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said after the announcement Monday.

    Teams currently in the Central Division would stand to benefit the most under the newer travel arrangement, as Nashville, Dallas, Minnesota, St. Louis, Chicago and Winnipeg will be spending much more time in their own time zone than they currently do.

    One piece of flexibility this plan provides revolves around the Phoenix Coyotes, who are under threat of relocation due to sagging crowds and a challenging economic situation in Glendale, Arizona. Should it be necessary for them to move, they'll either be able to head to an eastern-based city – likely Quebec City – where they'd turn Conference C or D into an eight-team division, or to a West Coast city – perhaps Portland or Seattle, at some point – where they'd remain in the westernmost conference.

    The NHL has acknowledged that it can't fully please every last team, though it does appear a satisfactory consensus has been established. This would mark a successful achievement by Commissioner Gary Bettman if little stress is generated by such a significant shift in the game's structure.

    "If you ask each of the 30 clubs what their preference is, my guess is you'd get 30 different preferences and, as a result, what we really have to do is find the biggest layer of common ground," Bettman said during the NHL's weekly radio show. "You're not going to get everybody's first choice."

    Daly was satisfied with the nature of the proceedings considering the prospect of major change, all under the backdrop of the Collective Bargaining Agreement's expiration on September 15, 2012.

    "Very businesslike, very professional," Daly said. "It wasn't contentious at all."

    -----------------------

    Personally, I love what the NHL is doing here. More variety in terms of the frequency of seeing every league opponent; you get to see every team at least once in your own building. More variety in terms of the possible playoff matchups. I'm sick of the fact that a team from the West and a team from the East are guaranteed to be in the Finals each season, and this rectifies that. Ideally, I would prefer to see the playoffs be the top overall 16 teams in the entire league, with #1 playing against #16, etc., so that any two teams could theoretically face each other for the Stanley Cup. However, this is, in my opinion, the next best thing.

  8. #8
    IHF Member RiaRiaHungaria's Avatar
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    I love this idea, and I hope that they bring back the old division names. I also /love/ the idea of a possible Habs-Rangers, Habs-Flyers or Canucks-Wings, Canucks-Hawks final, with the additional bonus that you'd ensure that there'll be a playoff series against a traditional rival.

    I think that's a tradeoff worth giving up a few games against non-divisional conference rivals - which are for the most part fairly recent things, anyways. For me, Canucks vs Flames has always been far more important a rivalry than Canucks-Blackhawks, for example. The only thing I'd change is to swap Colorado and Winnipeg: want a real rivalry? Canucks vs Jets. We could go back to the days when it came down to the last game of the season, to determine which of the two qualifies for the playoffs!

    In sum, I think the most important aspect is the divisional playoffs - two rounds of series in which there'll be some very traditional, very fierce battles: Rangers-Isles, Habs-Leafs, Habs-Bruins, Habs-Quebec (if/when they return), Isles-Caps, Flames-Oilers, etc etc etc.

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    There´s been comments and complains in many NA forusn about conferences with 8 teams. More difficult to reach Stanley Cup compared with the 7 team conferences. Why would not have a premilinary round between 4th and 5th placed teams in best of 3. And if there will be an expansion and/or relocation in the future then the problem of unbalancy is solved.

  10. #10
    IHF Staff Graham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by realcloutier View Post
    More difficult to reach Stanley Cup compared with the 7 team conferences.
    I don't agree with that. Does anyone believe that having Columbus as your 8th team makes it more difficult?

    Graham.
    "It's very hard to talk quantum using a language originally designed to tell other monkeys where the ripe fruit is."
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    "Night Watch", Terry Pratchett

  11. #11
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    I feel that is a great idea and could lead to some interesting match ups in next years playoffs

  12. #12
    IHF Member Ref72's Avatar
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    The NHL PA has rejected the NHL's plan for re-alignment meaning as of now, the plan is on hold.

  13. #13
    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    Terrible move by the NHLPA......the majority of the fans support the realignment plan, because they get the chance to see every team in the league play on their home ice at least once per year.

    This could end up backfiring against the players and causing fans to support the owners in a labor dispute if another one happens.

  14. #14
    IHF Member Conesy's Avatar
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    Not to mention that Winnipeg is still in the Southeast. That's gonna be absolutely horrible for the whole division, the travel up there.
    Twitter: @CSmeeth

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    IHF Member Bennison's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ref72 View Post
    The NHL PA has rejected the NHL's plan for re-alignment meaning as of now, the plan is on hold.
    Is there any indication as to why?? It seems incomprehensible.
    Cum bibam cervisia gaudeo.

  16. #16
    IHF Member Ref72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bennison View Post
    Is there any indication as to why?? It seems incomprehensible.
    The NHLPA has two concerns: 1. Would the new alignment cause increased travel for the players? 2. Would there be a disparity in the chances of making the playoffs depending on the number of teams in the conference? According to the PA, the NHL has refused to correctly answer or address these issues. The PA claims for issue 1, they asked the NHL for a sampling of next years schedule so they could assess the travel conditions. They claim the NHL said providing this was not possible. The NHL has a different view of course. They claim they have been negotiating with the PA for the past 4 weeks and that the PA has been unreasonable in the discussions. The NHL has indicated that because they have a short deadline to get started on next seasons schedule, that due to the PA's refusal to approve the new plan, they have no choice but to postpone it for next year. My feeling is that in addition to any real concerns the PA has for this, this is also a strategic message from the PA from their new leader Mr. Fear, who seems to want to show the NHL how tough he will be when the new collective bargaining agreement negotiations get into full swing. The current agreement I believe expires Sept 15. I have a feeling we could be in for another labour disruption in the NHL

  17. #17
    IHF Member Bennison's Avatar
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    So, it is all down to posturing to gain the upper hand before the new round of cba negotiations.
    Cum bibam cervisia gaudeo.

  18. #18
    IHF Member Ref72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bennison View Post
    So, it is all down to posturing to gain the upper hand before the new round of cba negotiations.
    I believe that is part of the game, yes. And as usual, in the end, the fans will suffer. Oh well, maybe that means stronger teams for the U20 like we had in 2005

  19. #19
    IHF Member Ref72's Avatar
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    The NHL now has 60 days to file a grievance, an action that would seek declaration that the NHLPA withheld their consent unreasonably in violation of the CBA.

    As well, the league may seek damages on behalf of the teams whose business will be most impacted next year. The franchises that appear to be most affected would be Detroit, Columbus, Minnesota, Florida and Winnipeg.

    This grievance and the issues identified within would require a decision from an arbitrator before collective bargaining.

  20. #20
    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    My understanding is that most of the players actually support realignment for the same reasons that the majority of the fans do, but that it is the union leadership, not the rank and file players, that is spearheading the fight against realignment.

    Meanwhile, I think the whole concept of a labor union for multi-millionaires is in and of itself abhorrent. These are not poor, oppressed workers. They are elite athletes, a large number of whom make more in one season than most people will earn in a lifetime of hard, honest work. They have the very best facilities, the very best equipment, the very best training, the very best food, the very best medical care, the very best lifestyles. They do not need a union to protect them, and they should not be permitted to cause a labor stoppage.

  21. #21
    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    Not sure how this question relates to this topic?

  22. #22
    IHF Staff Starkovs's Avatar
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    Alright, try this one more time. The NHLPA has approved the NHL new realignment proposal.

    Eastern Conference

    Atlantic Division: Carolina, Columbus, New Jersey, N.Y. Islanders, N.Y. Rangers, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington

    Central Division: Boston, Buffalo, Detroit, Florida, Montreal, Ottawa, Tampa Bay, Toronto.

    Western Conference

    Mid-West Division: Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Minnesota, Nashville, St. Louis, Winnipeg.

    Pacific Division: Anaheim, Calgary, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Jose, Vancouver

    -Top three clubs in each Division make the play-offs, along with the four wild card club - the best two non-division winners in each conference.

    -This new format will be used for the 2013/2014 season and will be re-evaluated after the 2014/2015 season.

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=417615

  23. #23
    IHF Staff Trim's Avatar
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    For me, I'd rather have Nashville in the Central and Detroit in the Mid-West. Whether or not, that's a massive division by geographical spread. They're trying too hard to keep Original Six rivalries alive.
    Quote Originally Posted by Starkovs View Post
    -Top three clubs in each Division make the play-offs, along with the four wild card club - the best two non-division winners in each conference.
    No sir, I don't like it. Its likely that the 2nd and 3rd best teams in a division would make it in anyway so why have the provision for it? I know its not assured that they would be playoff teams but only the division winners should take the top seeds. Let everything else shake out the way it did before.
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  24. #24
    IHF Member Garethw87's Avatar
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    It's a mess! Atlantic is the only one that seems to make sense. Why do all the Canadian teams get a crap deal? The best question has to be how has Bettman still got his job!
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    IHF Staff Starkovs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garethw87 View Post
    It's a mess! Atlantic is the only one that seems to make sense. Why do all the Canadian teams get a crap deal? The best question has to be how has Bettman still got his job!
    I think it makes sense, Detroit and Columbus wanted out of the West so they moved with all the other Eastern time zone clubs. The Mid-West Division is made up of all Central time zone clubs plus Colorado who is in Mountain. The Pacific Division is all Pacific time zone plus Calgary, Edmonton and Phoenix who are in the Mountain time zone, the most you do is move back or forward an hour. The only thing really out of place is Florida clubs in the Central Division but I believe that was because they wanted to keep the rivalries in the Atlantic and Canadians travel well to Florida so it will make them more money.

    The play-off format is more a uhh then the Divisions but lets see how it plays out.

  26. #26
    IHF Member Garethw87's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starkovs View Post
    I think it makes sense, Detroit and Columbus wanted out of the West so they moved with all the other Eastern time zone clubs. The Mid-West Division is made up of all Central time zone clubs plus Colorado who is in Mountain. The Pacific Division is all Pacific time zone plus Calgary, Edmonton and Phoenix who are in the Mountain time zone, the most you do is move back or forward an hour. The only thing really out of place is Florida clubs in the Central Division but I believe that was because they wanted to keep the rivalries in the Atlantic and Canadians travel well to Florida so it will make them more money.

    The play-off format is more a uhh then the Divisions but lets see how it plays out.
    I realise the time zoning is 'better' I guess for the teams. But look at the travelling still for the Canadian teams, still alot of air miles they'll be getting through each season!
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  27. #27
    IHF Staff Steigs's Avatar
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    I just find it odd that the "Central" includes an East Coast team in Boston, while the second-westernmost team (Columbus) finds itself in the "Atlantic"... Someone needs to change the division names.
    And the Florida teams, which should be in Atlantic, find themselves in Central just so that they don't have to split up the Pennsylvania teams.

    Realistically, the two FLA squads should be in Atlantic and CBJ/PIT should be in the Northeast

  28. #28
    IHF Member Garethw87's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steigs View Post
    Realistically, the two FLA squads should be in Atlantic and CBJ/PIT should be in the Northeast
    *Should be moved to Canada :D
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garethw87 View Post
    *Should be moved to Canada :D
    No thanks....

    Both Florida teams have sold out every game this season, I get pretty tired of the unfounded hate for hockey being played in my state.

  30. #30
    IHF Member Garethw87's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Helix- View Post
    No thanks....

    Both Florida teams have sold out every game this season, I get pretty tired of the unfounded hate for hockey being played in my state.
    No hatred from me. But situation is as bad for them, travel wise, as it is for the other teams
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  31. #31
    IHF Staff Steigs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Helix- View Post
    No thanks....

    Both Florida teams have sold out every game this season, I get pretty tired of the unfounded hate for hockey being played in my state.
    Sorry.... Panthers have sold out every game? I've watched games on tv where the bottom tier is about 30% full, nevermind the top tier.. Free ticket giveaways that people don't use should not count as "sellouts". Not in Florida and not anywhere else.

    Saying you have 15,000 people there when there are realistically 5,000 seats filled at most is a lie, plain and simple.

  32. #32
    IHF Prospect Mr. Sharky's Avatar
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    I really do hope the NHL sorts out the conferences in a hurry.

    Whoever decided Chicago and Detroit should be in the Western Conference was on some pretty strong stuff.

    One only has to look at a map and both on the East side of the country.

  33. #33
    IHF Staff Steigs's Avatar
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    Actually, Chicago isn't in the Eastern timezone, so having them in the Western Conference makes absolute perfect sense.

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