Last night while the Predators were taking on the Detroit Red Wings, the subject of realignment was brought up once again. Nick Cotsonika of Yahoo! Sports screen captured the proposed changes from CBC’s Hockey Night In Canada that would create four conferences instead of two conferences.
— Nick Cotsonika (@cotsonika) February 24, 2013
Under this proposed new format, the Predators would lose their division rivalries with both Detroit and Columbus. Both of those teams would be heading to the east in this proposal. Losing the rivalry with Detroit would hurt the Predators off the ice, as those home games are always a big draw attendance wise.
Nashville would maintain the rivalries with Chicago and St. Louis, as well as gaining new ones with Colorado, Dallas, Minnesota and Winnipeg. Last season when realignment was a hot topic, the Predators were in a conference that would have included both Detroit and Columbus.
This proposal makes since from a geographical perspective. Winnipeg would no longer be stuck in the Eastern Conference while Detroit and Columbus, both of which are in the Eastern time zone, would both move into the east. The Predators would have a chance to take on Ryan Suter and the Wild more often, and these games in the new conferences would mean more. Teams will have to work their way toward the top of their respective conferences to get into the playoffs, which would create new heated rivalries within those conferences.
It is still unknown what the playoff format would look like, but the NHL would prefer to have realignment in place by the start of next season.
Here’s what the standings would have looked like in recent years…
|Dallas||19||Dallas||89||St. Louis||87||St. Louis||90|
Ryan Porth contributed to this post