NHL Finally Gets it Right for All
Last night, the NHL made the major change that needed to be done for many years and finally balanced the schedule, their divisions and playoff alignments.
I give credit to guys like Brain Burke who admitted this wasn’t great for their organization because of added regular season travel but it was more important to make it fair for everyone which it now is. On the RARE occasion, the NHL BOG and GM’s did something to help benefit the whole. The West had it completely unfair.
“The Red Wings and Blue Jackets currently play 16 regular-season games in the Mountain or Pacific time zones. Under the plan passed Monday, that number will be cut in half.” This from the NHL press release.
While most fans in the Atlantic division will dislike this movement. Consider this…Just imagine living in NY and having to watch your boys play at 10:00 Pm between 15 and 20 times a year and staying up during long playoff games till 1:30 – 2:00 in the morning when most people work by 8 or 9. That was a Red Wings Fans life.
Also of note in this, the new realignment actually knocks down the Gary Bettman sun belt teams. It will be much harder for the no one cares about Tampa , Florida and Carlina to make the playoffs and sorry but that’s a good thing. Carolina and Tampa have recent CUPS on years when their divisions were not very good and they cruised through the regular season and were fresher in the playoffs.
Just to continue that thought. In 04, when Tampa won the CUP, they were the only southeast team in playoffs with 106 pts. The 2nd place Trashers had 78 pts which was 7 pts less than the last place in the NorthEast division which was Buffalo with 85 pts.
In 06 when Carolina won, they easily made playoffs with 112 pts to Tampa’s 92 who beat out Toronto by 2 pts (think Toronto gets those points if they played ATL, WASH or FLA more that year) for the 8th seed.
Also to remember, this is also a CBA year where there is going have to be more compromise. I could easily see NHL saying to PA “we will add 2 more teams to make it 32. That adds 40+ more NHL jobs. It will even out this realignment plan and all that. But you will need to take a 12% rollback on your salaries”
That creates a nightmare scenario for PA. The high priced guys vs. guys like John Mitchell who would become full time NHLers in that deal. Should Ovie dropping from 9 mil to like 7 mil cause Mitchell to lose out on maybe a 800K salary over his prorated AHL deal.
Look now for 2 more teams and not 2 less teams.
Lastly, I usually agree with Larry Brooks, but this realignment is because of the new 10 year TV deal. His argument that they shouldn’t have locked into NBC for 10 years was short sighted. Now with guaranteed TV money no matter what, Bettman no longer has to protect his sun belt teams that draw no attention, attendance or buzz. No one finds it ironic, Atlanta moves the year they get the TV deal. Now Florida and Tampa are finally put with real opponents. This realignment allows Phoenix to move anywhere because if they go to Quebec it becomes a 8 team Conference and 15 and 15 again. If they go to KC they go central Columbus comes to the Atlantic conference. It is very obvious Gary will no longer protect these post Gretzky era teams that can’t hack it.