Conference D-eath

Posted: December 9, 2011 by Keith Stone in hockey, NHL, Rangers

After the Atlanta Thrashers moved to Winnipeg earlier this year, but were forced to remain in the NHL’s Southeast Division because the schedule was already set, league realignment has been a priority. A reasonable person would think that Winnipeg could move into the Central Division and Nashville would take their place or Southeast. Or we could even get a little zany, move Winnipeg into the Northwest, Colorado into the Central, and Nashville into the Southeast. I’m no Christopher Columbus, but it seems fairly logical.

Well, the NHL decided to blow everything up and form four conferences, gracefully named Conference A, B, C, and D. Teams in the same conference would play each other five or six times a year, and have a home-and-home series with the other teams. Teams in the Western Conference that weren’t exactly in the West, like Chicago and Detroit, would have a lot less travel to do. However in the northeast, where teams aren’t so far apart, teams like Philly and Boston are only going to get to play each other twice a year.

Of course, the Rangers were placed in Conference D, which is basically the current Atlantic Division with the addition of Washington and Carolina. It’s already a tough division with the Penguins and historically solid Flyers and Devils. Throw in the Capitals and you have to compete with two of the league’s best teams on a regular basis. Even the Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup a few years ago.

I know it’s cool that Crosby and Ovechkin are going to be in the same conference, but does it really have to be the one the Rangers are in? The first two rounds of the playoffs are going to be played within the conference so it’s going to be really fun playing all those teams in the first and second round every year. If the Rangers can somehow escape, I’m sure they’ll have a ton of energy for the Semifinals. Of course, Florida and Tampa Bay were placed in a conference with all the eastern Canadian teams which makes a lot of sense. It’s going to take some getting used to but as long as they name the conferences after former players, I guess I’ll learn to live with it. May I suggest the Domi Conference?

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