NHL To Kill The Blackhawks/Red Wings Rivalry
The NHL has released a new realignment proposal which moves the Detroit Red Wings in the eastern conference, pretty much ending one of hockey's best rivalries.
During CBC's Hockey Night in Canada broadcast tonight, Elliotte Friedman revealed that the NHL has changed their original realignment plan they announced in December of 2011. They still want to go with the four separate conferences format, two in the east and two in the west. The two conferences out east will have 8 teams apiece while the two conferences in the west will have 7 teams each. The first proposal had both Detroit and Columbus remaining in the west but now it looks like they will both move to the east. I guess the years of pissing and moaning to the league about travel has finally paid off for the Wings. Here are the four new proposed conferences:
Conference I: Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals
Conference II: Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs
Conference III: Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators, St Louis Blues, Winnipeg Jets
Conference IV: Anaheim Ducks, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, Phoenix Coyotes, San Jose Sharks, Vancouver Canucks
So five out of the six Original 6 teams are out east and the Blackhawks lose their biggest rival. It figures, as soon as Detroit starts to suck they move to the east. I hate this, a lot! Friedman also mentioned that there could be some sort of wild card format for the two 8 team conferences. One thing I do like is that the Hawks will play a home and home with each eastern team, so every team will come to the United Center at least once. Losing the rivalry with the Wings is pretty shitty, but then again, Gary Bettman is involved so of course it was going to be shitty!