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NHL Re-alignment 2021-22 - A proposal

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With 32 teams I wonder if the NHL will adopt an NFL type alignment with 8 divisions of 4 teams each.  Those 8 divisions will be in 4 conferences.  

The schedule will be 82 games divided as follows.  6 games against each team in the division and 4 against the other division in the conference.  That’s 34 games.  The other 48 are home and home against the other 24 teams.

Playoffs - 16 teams - 8 division winner plus the next 2 teams by record for each of the 4 conferences.  

Divisions - Western Conference

West Canada - Edm, Van, Calg, Wpg

West Coast - Sea, SJ, LA and Ana

Divisions -  Central Conference

SW - Colorado, LV, AZ and Dallas

MW - Minn, Chi, Stl and Nash

Divisions - Northern Conference

Great Lakes - Buf, Det, Tor, CBJ

East - Mon, Ott, Bos, Pitt

Divisions - Atlantic Conference

South - Car, TB, FL and Wash

Metro - NYI, NYR, Philly, NJ


Edited by GASabresIUFAN
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The west makes the most sense there although I am sure the league will want to build up the Vancouver Seattle rivalry so will likely want them in the same division once the border is open. 

I like us with Toronto and Detroit but Columbus? idk. Lose all that Boston hatred? Or Montreal ? Also can't see Philly and Pitt being separated. Most of the rest fits geographically though.

After all this same team stuff I'd like a return to play different teams more for the variety but that's just me. I know the Canadian division has been really popular up here with most people. There's calls for that to be permanent. 

What might be interesting for the sake of parity is weighting the schedule like the NFL does where you have to play more games with top teams if you finished higher and the lower teams get matched up more. That might be interesting and lead to closer end of season standings/playoff races. 

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I'd rather see Buffalo, Boston, Toronto and Montreal in the same division (Ottawa can ***** off). Way too much dislike between those teams. Also you can't split up Pittsburgh and Philly. Colorado and Detroit was always a good rivalry back in the day as well. 

Edited by Claude Balls
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I’m tired of the antiquated division set up. The closer we can get to schedule parity the better. I think the English Premier league does it the best.

Since you can’t increase the number of games to 93 (3x each), I would reduce it to 77.

Start the year where all 16 eastern conference teams play all of the 16 Western Conference teams twice back to back to reduce travel (not necessarily consecutive days). Each city hosts a team from the other conference every other year.

That is 32 games and now the teams are in mid-season form and have built up point totals. 

Now play 45 games within your own conference by playing each team three times.

Since this is an odd number of games you either alternate the number of home games you get each year or each team plays a special game in a neutral city/AHL affiliate, etc.... another alternative is that you play one team four times. Maybe make this a special game called rival weekend, but I don’t like these hype type of things. This is the weakest part of my suggestion. 

At that point you have 77 games and the top eight teams from each conference start the playoffs with 1 vs 8, etc.

Eliminate all this horseshit about a strong/weak division, etc. balance the schedule as much as possible, reduce travel, trim a few more games to get more space and rest in between games and make it a truish  league.

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