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Hockeytown0001

New NHL divisions, names, and playoff format

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New Division Names

The release of the 2013-14 regular-season schedule Friday included the debut of the four new division names for the realigned NHL.

The League went to a realigned format for geographic purposes and has decided to stick with geographic names for the four new divisions. Three of the four names are carryovers from the old six-division alignment, but the League added a new name to the mix.

The four division names are Atlantic, Metropolitan, Central and Pacific. The Atlantic and Metropolitan divisions make up the Eastern Conference and each division has eight teams. The Central and Pacific divisions make up the Western Conference and have seven teams in each division.

The Atlantic Division teams are: Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings,Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Red Wings have moved from the Western Conference to the Eastern.

The Metropolitan Division includes the three New York-area teams -- New York Rangers,New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils -- along with the Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers, Carolina Hurricanes and Columbus Blue Jackets, who are joining the Red Wings in the move east.

The new Central Division in the Western Conference includes the Chicago Blackhawks,St. Louis Blues, Nashville Predators, Minnesota Wild, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars andWinnipeg Jets, who are moving from the Eastern Conference to the Western.

The new Pacific Division includes the Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks, Phoenix Coyotes, San Jose Sharks, Vancouver Canucks,Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers.

The 2013-14 schedule ensures that all 30 teams play in all 30 arenas at least once during the season.

The Stanley Cup Playoffs will still consist of 16 teams, eight from each conference, but it will be division-based and a wild-card system has been added.

The top three teams in each division will make up the first 12 teams in the playoffs. The remaining four spots will be filled by the next two highest-placed finishers in each conference -- regardless of division -- based on regular-season points. It will be possible for one division to send five teams to the postseason while the other sends three.

The seeding of the wild-card teams within each divisional playoff will be determined by regular-season points. The division winner with the most points in the conference will be matched against the wild-card team with the fewest points; the division winner with the second-most points in the conference will play the wild-card team with the second-fewest points.

The teams finishing second and third in each division will play in the first round of the playoffs. The winners of each series will play for berths in the conference championship series.

The winners of the conference championships advance to the Stanley Cup Final.

I'm sorry, but that is horrendously stupid. 16 teams in the East and 14 in the West? Metropolitan? Seriously? And whose brilliant idea was it to change the playoff format?

Edited by Hockeytown0001

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Very confusing.

I'd prefer a BCS type format instead. One "Stanley Cup Finals" series between the two highest computer ranked teams. And three other series, called the "Gretzky Series", "Howe Series" and "Orr series" (sorry Mario). These three series would be for pride only, between the 6 highest ranked teams after the two that get to play in the Finals. Once again, computer rankings would decide.

Makes sense?

Edited by GMRwings1983

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Very confusing.I'd prefer a BCS type format instead. One "Stanley Cup Finals" series between the two highest computer ranked teams. And three other series, called the "Gretzky Series", "Howe Series" and "Orr series" (sorry Mario). These three series would be for pride only, between the 6 highest ranked teams after the two that get to play in the Finals. Once again, computer rankings would decide.

Seriously? :scared:

The playoff format isn't bad. They want to emphasize division play (which is great) but it would be unfair with different division sizes so they have to do wild cards. The metropolitan name is kind of dumb and too long, but we'll all be calling it "metro" anyway. Traditional player named division would be nice for us hardcore fans, but it would be confusing and arbitrary for new ones.

And as for 14 vs 16 teams, what else are they supposed to do? Expand to 32 teams? Because we all know much much we want to be in the East, and Columbus isn't ant further to the west than us.

Talk about out of the frying pan.

Edited by Z and D for the C

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Not sure I'm really a fan of the playoff format, but it may grow on me after seeing it next spring. If I read that correctly, let's say the Red Wings finish first in the division, they could play a wild-card team from the Metropolitan in the opening round? I know it probably had to be done due to the unbalanced conferences, but that kind of dampers the emphasis on exclusive divisional match-ups in the first two rounds. Also, the new Central Division is awful right now. Chicago is dealing with the Blues and Wild basically.

Edited by GoWings1905

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I think the league needs to find a way to fix the unbalanced divisions between East and West. I think we all know the league could stand to lose two teams, though I doubt they would ever make that decision. I am completely, irrevocably, unflinchingly against expansion. 28 teams > 30 teams > 32 teams.

Other than that, the current division and playoff format is fine. The best of a bad situation.

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Very confusing.

I'd prefer a BCS type format instead. One "Stanley Cup Finals" series between the two highest computer ranked teams. And three other series, called the "Gretzky Series", "Howe Series" and "Orr series" (sorry Mario). These three series would be for pride only, between the 6 highest ranked teams after the two that get to play in the Finals. Once again, computer rankings would decide.

Makes sense?

No. All the teams making the playoffs should have a change to win the cup.

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I think the league needs to find a way to fix the unbalanced divisions between East and West. I think we all know the league could stand to lose two teams, though I doubt they would ever make that decision. I am completely, irrevocably, unflinchingly against expansion. 28 teams > 30 teams > 32 teams.

Other than that, the current division and playoff format is fine. The best of a bad situation.

Contract the two Florida teams.

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I'm sorry, but that is horrendously stupid. 16 teams in the East and 14 in the West? Metropolitan? Seriously? And whose brilliant idea was it to change the playoff format?

It'll change again when the league expands to 32 teams. That's why the league doesn't care that there's 14/16.

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Seattle and Portland soon.

Seattle, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton

Anaheim, Los Angeles, San Jose, Portland

Phoenix, Colorado, Dallas, Winnipeg

Chicago, St. Louis, Minnesota, Nashville

Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Buffalo

Detroit, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Philadelphia

New York (I), New York ®, New Jersey, Boston

Washington, Carolina, Tampa Bay, Florida

6 games against each division opponent = 18 games.

4 games against conference opponents = 48 games.

1 game against other conference opponents = 16 games.

Alternate home/away games with other conference.

Edited by The Axe

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Very confusing. I'd prefer a BCS type format instead. One "Stanley Cup Finals" series between the two highest computer ranked teams. And three other series, called the "Gretzky Series", "Howe Series" and "Orr series" (sorry Mario). These three series would be for pride only, between the 6 highest ranked teams after the two that get to play in the Finals. Once again, computer rankings would decide. Makes sense?
That has to be one of the dumbest ideas I've heard in a long time. The BCS is a complete failure, and how often do the "best" teams in the regular season win the Cup? Has there ever been a #1 vs #1 Cup Finals?
Seattle and Portland soon.Seattle, Vancouver, Calgary, EdmontonAnaheim, Los Angeles, San Jose, PortlandPhoenix, Colorado, Dallas, WinnipegChicago, St. Louis, Minnesota, NashvilleMontreal, Toronto, Ottawa, BuffaloDetroit, Pittsburgh, Columbus, PhiladelphiaNew York (I), New York ®, New Jersey, BostonWashington, Carolina, Tampa Bay, Florida6 games against each division opponent = 18 games.4 games against conference opponents = 48 games.1 game against other conference opponents = 16 games.Alternate home/away games with other conference.
Seattle Portland and Vancouver are too close to each other for the NHL to work. In all 3 places

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Money is whats important. Those places are wealthy.

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That has to be one of the dumbest ideas I've heard in a long time. The BCS is a complete failure, and how often do the "best" teams in the regular season win the Cup? Has there ever been a #1 vs #1 Cup Finals?

Seattle Portland and Vancouver are too close to each other for the NHL to work. In all 3 places

If LA, Anaheim and Phoenix can make it, I don't really see why Seattle, Vancouver and Portland couldn't. I'm thinking KC would be more likely though.

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That has to be one of the dumbest ideas I've heard in a long time. The BCS is a complete failure, and how often do the "best" teams in the regular season win the Cup? Has there ever been a #1 vs #1 Cup Finals?

Seattle Portland and Vancouver are too close to each other for the NHL to work. In all 3 places

If LA, Anaheim and Phoenix can make it, I don't really see why Seattle, Vancouver and Portland couldn't. I'm thinking KC would be more likely though.

Population of LA Anaheim and SJ is a lot higher

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BCS idea is the worst idea I've ever heard related to hockey.

Surely had to be a joke


I'm going to reserve my judgement on the new playoff format until after this next year.

Sort of confusing yes but let's see how it plays out.

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If LA, Anaheim and Phoenix can make it, I don't really see why Seattle, Vancouver and Portland couldn't. I'm thinking KC would be more likely though.

Phoenix, and LA? Phoenix is barely still in Phoenix, and LA only got a fan base after they won a cup. Those teams are not doing well.

Very confusing.

I'd prefer a BCS type format instead. One "Stanley Cup Finals" series between the two highest computer ranked teams. And three other series, called the "Gretzky Series", "Howe Series" and "Orr series" (sorry Mario). These three series would be for pride only, between the 6 highest ranked teams after the two that get to play in the Finals. Once again, computer rankings would decide.

Makes sense?

... computer ranked? so for the next couple years we get to watch Chicago vs. Pittsburgh for the cup? is there even a point to the regular season then? This would be an awful, awful, awful idea. Every year Pittsburgh is picked to win the cup, but the last time they made the finals was 09'

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Phoenix, and LA? Phoenix is barely still in Phoenix, and LA only got a fan base after they won a cup. Those teams are not doing well.

... computer ranked? so for the next couple years we get to watch Chicago vs. Pittsburgh for the cup? is there even a point to the regular season then? This would be an awful, awful, awful idea. Every year Pittsburgh is picked to win the cup, but the last time they made the finals was 09'

LOL.

You guys are way too easy.

Zeowingsfan and b.shanafan14 like this

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The playoff format is unnecessarily complicated. I was never a fan of divisional matchups being forced on us. Or divisions at all. You don't need to play a team five times to develop a rivalry.

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Phoenix, and LA? Phoenix is barely still in Phoenix, and LA only got a fan base after they won a cup. Those teams are not doing well.

... computer ranked? so for the next couple years we get to watch Chicago vs. Pittsburgh for the cup? is there even a point to the regular season then? This would be an awful, awful, awful idea. Every year Pittsburgh is picked to win the cup, but the last time they made the finals was 09'

Neither of those are true.

Sure there's bandwagoners, just like there's been with the Wings. But the Kings have had a long suffering fan base. And they've been in or around the top half of the league in attendance for a decade. Which is pretty good for a non-traditional hockey where all you hear about is the Lakers.

According to Forbes they're franchise value is #10 in the league (Detroit is #6) and in spite of their high payroll are turning a profit. I don't know that I trust Forbes on the exact $ numbers for franchises but they're probably in the ballpark with teams relative to one another.

Unless they've got some financial issue i've not heard about, they're nowhere near like the Coyotes.

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