NHL Modifies Realignment Proposal

CBC's Elliotte Friedman reports new plan being considered

Over the weekend, Elliotte Freidman reported a new NHL realignment proposal is on the table. He talked about modifications made to last year's proposal on Hockey Night in Canada's Hoststove Tonight segment.

For those of us who are more visual, I've put together the map above to show you what the new proposal would look like. The big takeaways from this report:

  • Detroit and Columbus would now get to play more road games in the eastern time zone.
  • Should the Coyotes end up moving to Seattle, there'd be no need for realignment.
  • However, there's no room in the east for any expansion to Quebec or Toronto.
  • The majority of the Original 6 is reunited in Conference 2 with Detroit, Toronto, Montreal and Boston all grouped  together.
  • Of course, Tampa Bay and Florida are still lumped into the Canadian conference for some reason.
  • Poor Columbus. From a division with Chicago and Detroit to one with the Penguins, Flyers and Rangers. These guys can't win. I mean, literally, they cannot win hockey games. Why?

Friedman also said the league is exploring a wild card format for the 8-team divisions. This is because teams in the larger conferences are at a slight disadvantage when it comes to making the playoffs. So we might see a situation where the No. 4 and 5 seeds in Conferences 1 and 2 square off for that fourth playoff spot.

I'm curious to see everyone's take on the new proposal. Here's a question, though. How should the conferences be named? Certainly not by names or letters. Should the league stick with its geographical names or go back to naming them after key people in NHL history?