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Realignment Not Occuring Next Year

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Fair enough. So what is this "better way"? Anybody can complain. Let's here solutions.

I think a lot of people are also forgetting a couple of things. With Winnipeg in the Southeast, that means that Florida, Tampa, Washington and Carolina have to travel all the way to Winnipeg again next year 3 TIMES each. Winnipeg also has to travel all the way to Tampa, Florida, Washington and Carolina 3 TIMES EACH.

To not fix that alone is just plain stupid.

Secondly, it's highly unlikely that the Coyotes will be in Phoenix next year since the taxpayers are not going to kick in more money for another year. So when the Coyotes move to Hamilton or Quebec City, they will have to travel all the way from Ontario to the West Coast to play San Jose, LA, and Anaheim as well to Dallas 3 TIMES for each. This is insane. With the proposed realignment, moving a team was much easier.

Good idea. Veto the realignment. DUH!

I think they should keep the 2 conference setup. I'd be fine with keeping the 4 proposed divisions, but just move Detroit or Columbus to one of the eastern divisions so each conference would have 15 teams. Then just take the top 8 teams from each conference like they do now. They could keep the proposed scheduling as well where everyone plays everyone outside their division in a home and home and the rest of the games are divisional games.

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Like all proposals, this has faults.

You are splitting Philly and Pittsburgh which was one of the early objections to many of the plans.

What happens when the Coyotes move to an eastern city (Quebec or Hamilton)? The Bettman proposal made it easier to move a team since the "conferences" were already unbalance with 7 or 8 teams,

Ya, don't get me wrong, I wanted the Bettman realignment and wish they had approved it, but something has to change, Winnipeg cannot stay in the Eastern Conference so there has to be a solution somewhere...

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It's a very different situation when you're dealing with a union that represents elite entertainers. Hockey is entertainment and fans pay to go see the best in the world play against one another. It's not the same as most other unions where the union employee is much easier to replace with a scab.

There's not a lot of guys out there like Datsyuk, Giroux, Stamkos, Thomas, etc. And I think it's safe to say fans won't pay as much to pay a bunch of AHL or college players, so the business model is affected. The Screen Actors Guild is probably a more appropriate union. Studios sure as hell don't want to pay them as much as they do, but the reality is the big names put people in the seats.

Here's a pretty good take on it, from ESPN of all places.

http://espn.go.com/nhl/story/_/id/7434633/nhlpa-refusal-approve-new-alignment-first-collective-bargaining-salvo

The union made huge concessions in the new CBA, and it does seem like since then instead of the league treating them like a partner, it's attitude is "you're our ***** now." The thing Bettman apparently forgets is that fans boo his weasel ass every time he's in public. They cheer for the players, not the organization of the NHL.

The bolded section is the key point. Even if the player's union has no legal right to engage in the discussion, as a practical matter and heading into a new CBA it's idiotic not to include the ******* players in talks about realigning their teams!

Don't get me wrong, I am a HUGE Union supporter and wish people like Dave Bing didn't exist. I wish I was still in a Union at work and I respect the rights of all workers that are represented. I just want to see what the PA has to propose after this rejection. Usually when a Union rejects a contract, for example, they have a counter offer. I am all for something that is more equal for a playoff format, but let's see it then. What can be done with 30 teams to make it even? I am not bashing Union's, just want to know what the PA has as a counter offer...

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This all wouldn't have happened if the NHL did the right thing and just killed ATL. No realignment needed, especially if PHX were to go bankrupt. There isn't a need for 30 teams when many of them are having a hard time bringing money in. Plus, contraction would help the NHL by deepening the talent pool. No Winnipeg, no Phoenix, no problem.

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The travel trouble will never be fully addressed. The teams are in cities that are not evenly grouped, nor are they equidistant from each other. Someone will always have the short end of the stick.

As for the playoffs, why not have the divisions form 2 conferences (15 teams per), have one or two champs per division, and use the wildcard system to fill in the blanks? In the long run, it would make less difference than the loser point.

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Split the league into 2 Conferences. North and South. That way all teams play within conference across all time zones, eliminating travel arguments.

I'm actually going with an NFL type of conferences, with equal numbers of East/West teams in each conference. But of course, if I had my way, there would be no Winnipeg, no Phoenix, just 28 teams, deeper talent pool, and no worrying about who goes where because we know the NHL will NEVER send the Wings to the East so long as the West teams need the money.

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Ok, this is gonna get radical, and of course it won't happen but follow me for a minute or 20.

Three Conferences, Two Division in each, Ten teams in each. You could make the schedule 76 games, which wold give you a home and home out of your conference and 4 games against your conference. Within the conference the top 5 point getter's are in the playoff's, then you take the next four teams with the next highest point total's and play three games (much like the Olympics minus the Bronze Medal game) to determine the 16th spot in the playoffs. The teams won't be playing any more games and it won't delay the playoffs because you have shortened the season by 6 games. They would be sorted by points of course. Then once the top 16 teams are determined, seed them 1 thru 16 with 1 playing 16, etc... (no matter which Conference you are in) and then after every playoff round, reseed them accordingly. If you wanted to award the two division winners with a playoff spot (which I think is dumb) that is fine, but having four teams battle it out for the final playoff spot would generate extreme excitement among the fans much like when the Rangers and Flyers played that 82nd game to see who went. Along with much competition between the rest of the league to battle for that 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th regular season position in order to try to attain that 16th playoff spot. Of course in this one game playoff among these 4 teams, they would be seeded 16-19 with 16 playing 19, etc...

Now for the Re-alignment part:

Eastern Conference:

Division A (for lack of a better name right now):

Boston

Islanders

Rangers

Senators

Canadiens

Division B:

Devils

Capitals

Hurricanes

Lightning

Panthers

Central Conference:

Division A:

Maple Leafs

Sabres

Flyers

Penguins

Red Wings

Division B:

Blue Jackets

Predators

Blues

Wild

Blackhawks

Western Conference:

Division A:

Winnipeg

Avalanche

Stars

Coyotes

Oilers

Division B:

Flames

Canucks

Sharks

Ducks

Kings

...I know it splits up Calgary and Edmonton as a division rival, but remember you are playing your own CONFERENCE 4 times, the division just sorts it out a bit better, you could actually eliminate the division all together if it would help. (much like they did with the 4 conference format) I realize with the two games against other conferences it still poses a East coast team travel issue (babies) but the playoff issue is all but taken care of with half of the teams in each conference making the playoffs, then having an exciting weekend of three games of hockey among four teams (16-19) to determine that last playoff spot. Then just group them all together 1-16 and you will get the absolute best playoff's and the two best teams, regardless of their conference will meet for The Stanley Cup...

Radical, I know, but what else can we do?

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You know, I don't see what's so unfair about having unbalanced conferences. Those lower Eastern teams won't go far so so what if they get a round of playoff revenue?

Not to mention that Phoenix will be moving east and basically balance out the old conferences. As far as travel goes, that was about as close to perfect as they were going to get. The NHLPA won't come up with anything better. You can only go so far in fairness in sports. There are simply some inherent disadvantages that everyone has to deal with.

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To make the proposed format balanced and fair I think for the regular season the proposed four divisions can be as they had planned. But once the playoffs are ready to start all 30 teams are reseeded from ONE to THIRTY. The top 16 seeds make the playoffs. The winners of the four divisions are ranked from seed 1 to seed 4. The remaining 12 seeds are ranked behind like they are now. Seed 1 plays seed 16. Seed 2 plays seed 15. Seed 3 plays seed 14… etc. That way each team in the NHL has the EXACT SAME CHANCE of making the playoffs even though they may be in an 8 team division vs 7 team division. And actually it would be more exciting because there is a better chance of facing a team that is not in your division in any round of the playoffs and each team in the NHL has the same chance. The whole idea is that the travel during the regular season is balanced so that by the time the playoffs come around the travel is much less fatiguing. I think playing a team that you played five or six times during the regular season in the first AND second round of the playoffs would get really boring year after year. It would result in a team trying to get by a nemesis year after year to make it to the finals.

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I've highlighted a couple key parts from the NHLPA's statement that shows the NHL definitely has a hand in this rejection of the realignment.

January 06, 2012

Toronto (January 6, 2012) – National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA) Executive Director Don Fehr issued the following statement this evening regarding the League’s realignment proposal:

“On the evening of December 5, 2011, the NHL informed the NHLPA that they proposed to put in place a four-conference format beginning with the 2012-13 season.

I believe that's the same day they announced it to everyone. So you tell the players union the same day you announce it to the public?

As realignment affects Players’ terms and conditions of employment, the CBA requires the League to obtain the NHLPA’s consent before implementation. Over the last month, we have had several discussions with the League and extensive dialogue with Players, most recently on an Executive Board conference call on January 1. Two substantial Player concerns emerged: (1) whether the new structure would result in increased and more onerous travel; and (2) the disparity in chances of making the playoffs between the smaller and larger divisions.

I think those are two pretty legit concerns for the players.

In order to evaluate the effect on travel of the proposed new structure, we requested a draft or sample 2012-13 schedule, showing travel per team. We were advised it was not possible for the League to do that. We also suggested reaching an agreement on scheduling conditions to somewhat alleviate Player travel concerns (e.g., the scheduling of more back-to-back games, more difficult and lengthier road trips, number of border crossings, etc.), but the League did not want to enter into such a dialogue. The travel estimation data we received from the League indicates that many of the current Pacific and Central teams, that have demanding travel schedules under the current format, could see their travel become even more difficult. On the playoff qualification matter, we suggested discussing ways to eliminate the inherent differences in the proposed realignment, but the League was not willing to do so.

Obviously this is a one sided account, but at the very least not even providing a proposed schedule is pretty ridiculous. The league must have worked up something to that effect in their planning and consideration of the whole thing.

The League set a deadline of January 6, 2012 for the NHLPA to provide its consent to the NHL’s proposal. Players’ questions about travel and concerns about the playoff format have not been sufficiently addressed; as such, we are not able to provide our consent to the proposal at this time. We continue to be ready and willing to have further discussions should the League be willing to do so.”

So the NHL gave the NHLPA a whole month to consider this? How long has the NHL been working this up?

It's not all on the league either, but Bettman is very good at making the player's union look like the enemy. By not involving them earlier and making the unions only recourse to ask for more time, he did exactly that.

It doesn't bode well for another CBA negotiation. If they lose any games because of a lockout, it will be the third such work stoppage Bettman has forced in his tenure.

Edited by haroldsnepsts

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I have a fool-proof solution to the alignment issue.

First, pick up a ******* map.

Then, look at where on the map all the teams play.

If you play east of Illinois, you're in the Eastern Conference. If you play west of Illinois, you're in the Western Conference. For Canadian teams, it's real simple. Toronto, Montreal, soon to be Quebec City team = East. Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Edmonton = West.

This solves travel problems, it's geographically drawn up, and it eliminates the obvious absurdity of why the f*** the Red Wings aren't in the Eastern Conference where they damn well belong.

Edited by Electrophile

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With regards to the playoff, I can't think why no one likes/has suggested the idea that almost all other world sports use: have a blind draw. All the qualified names go into a hat, and each series is drawn blind. Pick up a ball, it reads 'Detroit'. Pick out another ball, it reads 'Buffalo'. Something like that. They throw up some good match-ups and evens the playing field completely. Plus there's the excitement come draw day (not to mention increased revenue from TV. Heck they could even sponsor the draw if they wanted - as long as they didn't sponsor the actual playoffs in the same way).

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I have a fool-proof solution to the alignment issue.

First, pick up a ******* map.

Then, look at where on the map all the teams play.

If you play east of Illinois, you're in the Eastern Conference. If you play west of Illinois, you're in the Western Conference. For Canadian teams, it's real simple. Toronto, Montreal, soon to be Quebec City team = East. Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Edmonton = West.

This solves travel problems, it's geographically drawn up, and it eliminates the obvious absurdity of why the f*** the Red Wings aren't in the Eastern Conference where they damn well belong.

under your plan - 18 teams in the eastern conference, and 12 teams in the wesrtern conference...Sumthin' tells me the league/NHLPA won't like your idea ;)

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under your plan - 18 teams in the eastern conference, and 12 teams in the wesrtern conference...Sumthin' tells me the league/NHLPA won't like your idea ;)

They can get over it. There's no intelligent reason for why Winnipeg plays in the Southeast Division. They only thing they're south of is the North Pole.

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They can get over it. There's no intelligent reason for why Winnipeg plays in the Southeast Division. They only thing they're south of is the North Pole.

And to think...The league approved 4 conferences had both Florida franchises in the North East conference :blink:

There's always gonna be an issue with this re-alignment.

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I agree, someone is going to be pissed off no matter what, but I think realignment should be as geographically correct as possible. If splitting North America down the middle isn't feasible because there'd be too many teams in one conference, then find a way to make it as close to even as possible. I mean, if you're going to use geographical designations for your conference/division names, don't do something stupid like putting freakin' Winnipeg in the Southeast division. I don't think Canada even has a southeast to their country.

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I dont know why anyone is mad that the PA said no to this. The realignment was kinda f***ed up in the first place.

The reasons the PA didnt like it were a) disparity in playoff chances between divisions, and b) travel

I think that is totally acceptable, and I think were kidding ourselves if we believe that bettman's proposed realignment was the BEST the NHL could come up with. It was garbage to begin with and Im glad the NHLPA is blocking the plan. Maybe the NHL will get their heads out of their ass and come up with something that is fair for all teams. Thats what they want anyway isnt it? 'parity'

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I have better solution for equality-seeking unions.

Find maximum out of minimal distances that nhl teams have to travel and make all teams travel the same distance. If Rangers plays Islanders they should take red-eye flight from La-Guardia to Kansas and then from Kansas to Kennedy.

Such a 'common sense' would be very well in line with 'common sense' shown by unions, any union.

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I have better solution for equality-seeking unions.

Find maximum out of minimal distances that nhl teams have to travel and make all teams travel the same distance. If Rangers plays Islanders they should take red-eye flight from La-Guardia to Kansas and then from Kansas to Kennedy.

Such a 'common sense' would be very well in line with 'common sense' shown by unions, any union.

I'd rather seem them walk barefoot from Manhattan to Long Island.

In all seriousness - travel standards for these players is impeccable; union advocate Glenn Healy even mentioned how nice the players have it when compared to his playing days, and felt their objective was more or less letting the owners know it'll be a long summer.

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