NHL Realignment Approved

On Thursday, the NHL announced that the Board of Governors has voted to approve league realignment into a two-conference, four-division format.

The Blackhawks new division will include the Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators, St. Louis Blues and Winnipeg Jets.

Detroit and Columbus will join the Eastern Conference, and the plan will take affect at the beginning of the 2013-14 season.

Here are the new divisions:


12 thoughts on “NHL Realignment Approved

  1. Big win for the Red Wings. A good rivalrys will develop especially with Boston and Toronto. Chicago become the most eastern team in the western conference. They lose short travel to the Wings and Jackets and pick up longer travel in their division. I think the only good thing for the Hawks is there will be fewer teams working towards a playoff spot. Travels gonna be brutal

  2. Oh, please. Detroit’s travel was never as brutal as they let on. Of all the Western Conference teams, they rank about sixth in terms of total mileage. Detroit had long bemoaned late broadcast times for Western Conference games. But on the West Coast, lots of fans miss out because of early broadcast times. Point being, all of the things they cited for their reason to move East were not unique to the Red Wings.

    I am one Hawks fan who won’t miss the Detroit rivalry as much as other Hawks fans will: we can expect a rekindled Minnesota rivalry and we’ve got St. Louis and Nashville, and of course Vancouver.

    I’m surprised the board approved this. For the attendance-challenged markets of the West, Detroit visits represent a lot of butts in the seats. I’m surprised the players approved this. The West has two fewer teams competing for the same amount of playoff spots. I’m surprised that the networks and sponsors are willing to give up an NHL on NBC favorite matchup.

    What this comes down to is a wealthy and successful franchise complaining loudly that they suffer from obstacles that every NHL team faces and wants special treatment because of it. It is one case of what is good for one team is not good for the rest of the League.

  3. Hawks and Wings must not be separated! it’s like separating the Red sox and Yankees, or Bears and Packers!

  4. I do not recall ever hearing any vote breakdown numbers. Looking at the new alignment, and more than half the league’s teams in the East, if only a simple majority was needed, then the vote would have been on along conference lines, per se. Had the NHL really wanted to find balance, Detroit would have been the “swing team” to go in this new West. I think they could have done better, though, but if they expand down the road, they better have a couple target markets in the west — perhaps KC and Seattle.

  5. I think another aspect of realignment might hurt the Western Conf. Chicago is really the only “national” draw. St Louis and Edmonton may be the others to a much lesser extent. You go 50 miles outside of Nashville and no one cares or even knows about the Preds. This goes for most of the western conf teams. This will definitely hurt the WC when it comes to national TV.

  6. When push comes to shove they could have done worse.

    Yes it stinks to lose the Wings rivalry, but Minnesota has given the Hawks lots of good games the past 2 years, so that will be fun to see that matchup grow. Also, increased games vs Dallas/Colorado/Winnipeg provide new challenges. And, we will still play Wings in a Home and Home every year. and it also means we get home and homes vs the other O6 teams.

  7. They have isolated the Hawks away from the other 5 original franchises and put the Hawks in a weak division that will hurt the standing of the Hawks in the NHL because we will play the teams that really matter and that fans care about only once per year. It will also hurt the intensity level of the fans because we are playing teams that no one cares about. None of the teams in Divison B will possibly replace the rivalry with Detroit any more than in the old aligment they replaced the rivalries with New York and Montreal. I hope we can assume that the Hawks franchise tried to prevent this because they will incur the most franchise damage as a result of this change.

  8. The elephant in the room? The NHL has too many franchises!! It’s hurting the game. The league will no doubt use this alignment to promote expansion when they need reduction.

  9. Since geographically speaking there are more teams in the East, there was never going to be a perfect solution for re-alignment. Damn you Atlanta! Why didn’t you support the Thrashers!?

    I just think it’s weird that the 2 Florida teams have another division between them and the rest of their fellow division members in the Northeast US and Canada.

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