Friday, October 3, 2014

I'd Like To See NHL Add Two Teams, Go To 8 Divisions

If you know my blog, I like tinkering around with divisions.  In the NFL ... keep them the same.  In baseball, I'd like the old NL and AL East and West.  In the NBA, just give me a Western and Eastern conference and screw the divisions (or go back to the 4 division format of yore).

In the NHL, I'm torn on the newer four division format.  The NHL, unlike the NBA, employs a division heavy scheduling format.  So making smaller divisions makes sense.  That's why I wasn't as angry at the six-division format the NHL had that the NBA still uses.  I don't like the current format where the two divisions in the Eastern Conference have 8 teams and the two in the West have 7.  That's not very fair when half the teams in the East get into the playoffs and 57% of the teams in the West do.

That being said, I'd like for the NHL ... as which has been rumored all summer ... to add two new expansion teams and make the conferences even at 16.  Those franchises will be, I decree, in Seattle and Houston (I'm not against Las Vegas, Quebec or Toronto getting ones either, but I think those two are the favorites).  There.

Now go against what I usually want and actually expand out like the NFL (the only other major league with 32 teams) and have two conferences with four divisions each.  Since, like the NFL, intra-division scheduling is weighted, I like this a lot.


NORTHEAST:  Boston, Buffalo, Montreal, Ottawa
ATLANTIC:  New Jersey, NY Islanders, NY Rangers, Philadelphia
CENTRAL:  Columbus, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Toronto
SOUTHEAST:  Carolina, Florida, Tampa Bay, Washington


MIDWEST:  Chicago, Minnesota, Nashville, St. Louis
SOUTHWEST:  Arizona, Colorado, Dallas, Winnipeg
NORTHWEST: Calgary, Edmonton, Seattle, Vancouver
PACIFIC:  Anaheim, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Jose

I like this.  Again, the NHL isn't like the other leagues where they really depend on geography to help with travel and align divisions accordingly.  And the scheduling is easy:

SIX games each against division teams.  Play each three times at home and three on the road.  (18 total)

FOUR games each against the teams in the same division.  Two at home and two on the road. (48 total)

ONE game against each team in the other conference.  Play half the teams at home and half on the road.  I'd like it to split each division so you'd play two teams in one division at home and two on the road.  That would allow, say, for each Western team to play a game in New York every year and every East team to play a game in the Los Angeles area.  I'll have the splits below. (16 total)

There is your 82 game schedule.  Simple, eh?  Then the champs of each division makes the playoffs with the four best non-winners from each conference making up the wildcard.  Those teams qualify for the playoffs, but seed them by total points.  There you go.

Okay, here are your splits:
Boston/Buffalo, Montreal/Ottawa, NY Islanders/NY Rangers, New Jersey/Philadelphia, Detroit/Toronto, Columbus/Pittsburgh, Florida/Tampa Bay, Carolina/Washington, Chicago/Minnesota, Nashville/St Louis, Arizona/Dallas, Colorado/Winnipeg, Calgary/Edmonton, Seattle/Vancouver, Anaheim/Los Angeles, Las Vegas/San Jose

That's what I would like to see.

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