NHL Realignment…..

Should have listened to me NHL, you can read it here

Here is how it should be now using your convoluted system.


Smythe

Norris

Adams

Patrick

Anaheim Chicago Boston Carolina
Calgary Dallas Buffalo Florida
Colorado Detroit Columbus New Jersey
Edmonton Minnesota Montreal NY Islanders
Los Angeles Nashville Ottawa NY Rangers
Phoenix St. Louis Pittsburgh Philadelphia
San Jose Winnipeg Toronto Tampa Bay
Vancouver Washington

As you can clearly see here, the NHLPA’s complaints which can be found here http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/why-nhlpa-rejected-nhl-2012-13-realignment-plan-014526165.html.

According to sources with knowledge of the negotiations, the NHL didn’t include the NHLPA in the formation of the realignment plan because there was no mandate in the CBA to do so. So the League created the plan, the Board of Governors passed it and the dare was made: Go ahead, kill off something that the majority of hockey teams, fans and media deemed a positive move for the NHL.

But the League eventually needed the NHLPA’s consent. It was never a given despite reports to the contrary. So they sent a letter asking for it, and the NHLPA responded by communicating several concerns they had with the now-passed plan:

• The unbalanced conference format, with two divisions of eight teams and two divisions of seven teams. Combined with the return to a four-team “divisional” playoff format, the players felt there was an unfair advantage to teams in the smaller conferences.

• The NHL trumpeted reduced travel for teams; for example, the Detroit Red Wings would only have to make one long swing to California and to Western Canada each season instead of multiple trips.

What the NHLPA wanted: Specific data on what the schedule would look like under this plan, to better understand duration of road trips, for example. What the NHL provided, according to a source with knowledge of the talks: Mileage charts per teams and other formulas. The NHLPA was not pleased.

• Basically, the NHLPA felt that this realignment plan was created by and for the owners, and not in the best interests of the players. And when they reached out to attempt to reshape the plan to better serve their interests, that input was rejected, according to one source.

The NHLPA and NHL VP Bill Daly had traded letters for the last month, with the PA telling Larry Brooks of the NY Post as early as Dec. 4 that they had problems with the realignment plan. As late as Jan. 6, the NHLPA offered to meet with the NHL to hash out the realignment plan. The meeting never occurred.

Now, the death of realignment for next season — which will anger several fan bases that celebrated easier schedules and more rivalry-friendly conferences under the new plan — has been pinned on the NHLPA. The NHL fires the first cannon in the public-relations war that’ll be waged well into next season, as the two sides battle over the CBA.

Perhaps that’s why we went from the simple flip/flop of a Central Division team with the Winnipeg Jets to a large-scale reshaping of the NHL. At best, the League would have satisfied a dozen disgruntled owners and excited fans with a new rivalry-based playoff format.

At worst, realignment is delayed for a season and Donald Fehr looks like the Grinch Who Stole The Patrick Division.

The NHL successfully demonized the players back in 2005 during that negotiation, as public pressure increased until the PA crumbled under the weight. (Jeremy Roenick, of course, helped along the cause by telling fans that criticized the players’ avarice that “we don’t want you to watch hockey.”) As the next labor war approaches, this realignment tango has a familiar stench.

Sigh … realignment was taken from even before we learned the conference names. Then again, it wasn’t as if realignment didn’t have its drawbacks.

Here is how my revised playoff plan can wok, because when you fly private STFU about travel.

The top 3 in each division will be guaranteed a playoff spot with the final 2 playoff spots coming from the best 2 remaining records in each conference. Keep the playoffs the same way they are, going to 3 divisions was the biggest mistake the NHL ever made. Gone will be the MORONIC reseeding plan and give you hockey fans back a true Prince of Wales Conference Champion and a Clarence C. Campbell Conference Winner, not a Bettman and Daley winner.  The NHL’s MORONIC plan would have seen the NHLPA’s worst fears about travel seen.  1. Vancouver vs. 4. Tampa Bay, 2. San Jose vs. 3. Boston,  not the best idea.

I love the NHL and I want to see it grow and prosper, and you need fans and people who care about the game and not a paycheck to help it move foward.

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Posted on January 7, 2012, in NHL. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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