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Radical Realignment.

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We will see. Speculation that if the Abbotsford Heat to Utica, NY rumour is true it will be linked with a move of the Canucks' farm team from Manitoba to Abbotsford. The Heat is doing miserably at the gate and probably would continue to draw poorly in the Abbotsford area unless they got the Canucks'.

Edit: I'm an idiot. NVM

Edited by lesgoblu02

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And by the sounds of it, they will have an AHL ready building just a couple hours away with no tenant in Abbotsford.

Out of curiousness, I looked at an AHL map yesterday. Craziness. I don't see how Abbotsford makes a go of it. The ECHL splits into 2 uneven conferences with very, very limited interconference play (I think the Walleye played one game against a western team at home this season, maybe had a 2 game series in California last season). But I don't see how Abbotsford can even get away with anything close to that.

I'm not a huge follower of the NHL, but major sports alignment and expansion and the like intrigues me for some wacky reason. I'm still trying to figure out how the NBA had Detroit & Phoenix in one division while Cleveland & San Antonio were in another division for several seasons.

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Also: I came across a study on optimum franchise realignment by a couple of guys in the US Military Academy Math Department, of all places, their conclusion is that the optimum alignment for a four conference set-up would have the Wings in a conference with the Hawks, Winnipeg, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Toronto. For what that’s worth.

http://arxiv.org/pdf/1302.4735.pdf

Pretty cool study.

I go back to my idea of 5 divisions of 6 teams. An Original Six division, and the other 4 divisions set up be geography (Northeast, Southeast, Pacific, Midwest). Rank the 5 division winners and top 11 wildcards for the playoffs. Voila, radical realignment.

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We will see. Speculation that if the Abbotsford Heat to Utica, NY rumour is true it will be linked with a move of the Canucks' farm team from Manitoba to Abbotsford. The Heat is doing miserably at the gate and probably would continue to draw poorly in the Abbotsford area unless they got the Canucks'.

Let me try this again now that I've researched this situation:

The Flames own the Heat, so they feasibly can move them to Utica with some compensation to Abbotsford to break the lease.

The problem with the rumor you've (and I''ve) heard, Vancouver can't just "move their affiliate from Chicago to Abbotsford". Vancouver doesn't own their AHL affiliate and would have to find a current AHL team to either purchase themself or for the current group (FVSE) in Abbotsford to purchase and move. Basically, Vancouver can want their affiliate in Abbotsford all they want. But they can't just up and move a team that they don't own.

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Out of curiousness, I looked at an AHL map yesterday. Craziness. I don't see how Abbotsford makes a go of it. .

They don't. Their attendance is abysmal, which probably has a lot to do with being a Calgary affiliate an hour outside Vancouver, and they have to pay every visiting team a travel stipend to travel out there.

It was a bad idea that had virtually no chance of working.

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Let me try this again now that I've researched this situation:

The Flames own the Heat, so they feasibly can move them to Utica with some compensation to Abbotsford to break the lease.

The problem with the rumor you've (and I''ve) heard, Vancouver can't just "move their affiliate from Chicago to Abbotsford". Vancouver doesn't own their AHL affiliate and would have to find a current AHL team to either purchase themself or for the current group (FVSE) in Abbotsford to purchase and move. Basically, Vancouver can want their affiliate in Abbotsford all they want. But they can't just up and move a team that they don't own.

You're right (as for being an idiot, I still had the Canucks' AHL team in Manitoba!). The Chicago Wolves are independently-owned and apparently draw well. And if the Canucks had wanted a farm team close to them, they could have just snapped up the Abbotsford arena 5 or so years ago whenever it became first available. The rumors seem to be more fans or media simply thinking "Abbotsford is close to Vancouver so a good fit for the Canucks" without thinking it through. The Abbotsford arena has been a political hot potato in the Fraser Valley since day one, never should have been built to the scale it was.

Just goes to show that placing a team in Canada does not mean automatic success. Several OHL franchises have had trouble and minor-league hockey as well. Ottawa's NHL team had attendance troubles early on. Canucks tickets were hard to give away for free (I remember, the company I was with had season tickets) when they sucked. Not to say that an NHL team in Southern Ontario won't be a success. But it has to be done right. Of course it would easily do better than Phoenix or Florida, but it wouldn't necessarily be as strong as say Calgary or Winnipeg right away.

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I think Florida gets a bad rap. They are never going to be a hockey hotbed like the traditional markets, but they are currently at 101.1% capacity for attendance this season and ranked 23rd last season.

Their problem is their idiot VP who makes stupid decisions based on money, which in turn makes them look bad on TV. Case in point, they relocated (or drove away) STH's of several years to make the "Club Red" section at center ice. It's a high dollar club section with free food and booze, etc. Problem is, each seat is good for every event at the BBT Center and costs upwards of 20k per seat. The area they chose is directly behind the benches opposite the cameras. So, on TV, the building looks empty, when in reality, the rest of the place is packed with the real hockey fans.

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I think Florida gets a bad rap. They are never going to be a hockey hotbed like the traditional markets, but they are currently at 101.1% capacity for attendance this season and ranked 23rd last season.

I think the NHL's Southern expansion strategy as a whole gets a bad rap. Under proper circumstances (ie., decent ownership and playoff contention) the NHL could make a go of it in every single market they're in presently. There are some problem markets in the South, almost always down to poor management and chronic sub-par performance on the ice. Better run organizations like San Jose, L.A. and Tampa are success stories, Dallas and Colorado certainly did well when the on-ice product was good, Carolina loses money but has made great strides after a very shaky start and offers a unique arena game experience for fans, so does Nashville to an extent. Franchises in the North that have run into trouble in the not so recent past include Buffalo, Pittsburgh, New Jersey and NY Islanders. Even with the problem franchises, the NHL's average attendance has been level with, close to, or slightly above that of the NBA for years now, with a higher average ticket price.

Edited by lordstanley

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So the NHL memo has been widely leaked and is consistent with what Elliot Friedman reported. But I'm confused. I don't see how the wildcards address the "playoff chances' concern. Seems to me, if described accurately below, you'll have 14 Western Conference teams battling for 8 spots and 16 Eastern Conference teams battling for 8 spots. And if 3 teams from one division can make it and 5 teams from another division can make it, how you can keep the first rounds of the playoffs within a division. And if you're keeping the "conference" format, it would seem that the Central Division winner and Atlantic Division winner couldn't meet in the Stanley Cup Final. It doesn't seem so radical after all.

Report: NHL proposes conference realignment, new playoff format - NHL.com - News

Due to the unbalanced conferences, the League has proposed introducing a wild-card element to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, according to LeBrun.

Under the proposed system, the top three teams in each of the four divisions would qualify for the postseason. The final four spots would go to the two teams in each conference with the next-best records. So, in theory, five teams from one division and just three from the other division in each respective conference could make the postseason.

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There are two things that I am not sold on when it comes to this realignment. One, is the fact that there is a 14 to 16 team balance within the conferences. I think the Western Conference is becoming an inferior enough conference in this deal losing Detroit. Now you're also giving them not one, but two less teams than the east? That doesn't make sense to me. Financially speaking, I think you have to keep Detroit in the west as a draw for other markets. I think giving the west all Original Six teams but one creates to much imbalance, again, especially when you have a 14 to 16 team ratio. The other thing I don't like is the "wildcard" idea for the playoffs. At that point you're becoming too convoluted just to try and make your playoffs work. Casual fans should easily understand how the system works, I'm not so sure they will under this new "wildcard" format.

What I would do if I were Bettman is scrap conferences altogether. You simply play in a league with divisions only. Every team plays their divisional opponent six times as they do now. They then play every other team with one home and one away game. For teams that have more than four teams in their division that leaves them with four extra games in which they play two home and two away at their biggest non-division rivalries. Detroit plays Boston three times a year, New York Rangers play Montreal three times a year, etc. Then for the playoffs all teams are re-seeded in a 1 through 16 format based on record. There would be no divisional playoff games, the best 16 teams get in and faceoff against one another.

Division Games (4 Team Divisions): 24 games/12 home, 12 away

Division Games (5 Team Divisions): 30 games/15 home, 15 away

Non-Division Games (4 and 5 teams): 52 games/26 home, 26 away against every team in the league

Non-Division Extra Games (4 Team): 4 games/2 home, two away against biggest rivals

Atlantic-

Columbus

NY Rangers

New Jersey

Philadelphia

Central-

Chicago

Detroit

Ottawa

Toronto

Midwest-

Dallas

Minnesota

Nashville

St. Louis

Northeast-

Boston

Buffalo

NY Islanders

Montreal

(Add Quebec if they join)

Northwest-

Calgary

Colorado

Edmonton

Winnipeg

Pacific-

Anaheim

Los Angeles

Phoenix

San Jose

Vancouver

(Add Seattle if they join and move Phoenix)

Southeast-

Carolina

Florida

Pittsburgh

Tampa Bay

Washington

Edited by Mr.TaterSalad

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The NHL does some mind-numbingly stupid things at times, but make no mistake about it, this 14/16 setup is thought out and done for a reason. I expect expansion to happen out west no later than 2015.

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The NHL does some mind-numbingly stupid things at times, but make no mistake about it, this 14/16 setup is thought out and done for a reason. I expect expansion to happen out west no later than 2015.

I believe you to be correct. I wonder if this pushes the NBA or MLB to look into expansion as well? Not that it is necessarily a good idea for any of the NHL/NBA/MLB, but expansion fees are like Halloween candy for current ownership groups.

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I still don't think Seattle is a hockey town, but hey, if they can keep a franchise going in Columbus and Raleigh, they could keep one going in Seattle for a spell.

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Glendale city council votes 4-3 in favor of keeping the Coyotes.

Is that all they need to stay in Phoenix? Is any chance of a move now gone?

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Is that all they need to stay in Phoenix? Is any chance of a move now gone?

RSE has until Aug. 5 to complete its arena deal with Glendale and purchase the team, which would be renamed the Arizona Coyotes sometime after next season, from the NHL.

The chances of this not happening are remote. The Coyotes will very likely stay in Glendale.

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Is that all they need to stay in Phoenix? Is any chance of a move now gone?

Until the owners decide they want to blackmail the taxpayers for MORE money, which should take probably all of about two weeks, they'll be right back threatening to move again.

"Signing a lease" means nothing -- they'll bust it whenever they feel like it.

Edited by TJ

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This is My Perfect NHL.     Expansion Teams in Las Vegas & Hamilton.       Move Columbus, Carolina, Floriday & Arizona to  Quebec City, Seattle, Salt Lake City & Kansas City

 

Four Division Layout     6 games vs. Division (42), 3 games vs. Other Conference Division (24), 2 games vs. one of the conference division (rotate year to year)

Can-Am Division -  Boston, Buffalo, Detroit, Hamilton, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec, Toronto
Atlantic Division - New Jersey, NY Islanders, NY Rangers, Nashville, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Washington
Central Division -  Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Kansas City, Minnesota, Salt Lake City, St. Louis, Winnipeg 
Pacific Division - Anaheim, Calgary, Edmonton, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Jose, St. Louis, Vancouver

 

Eight Division Layout   6 games vs. Division (18) 4 vs. Rest of Conference (48),  2 games vs. half the other conference (to be rotated) 

St. Lawrence Division - Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec, Toronto
Great Lakes Division - Buffalo, Detroit, Hamilton, Pittsburgh
Atlantic  Division - Boston, New Jersey, NY Islanders, NY Rangers
Southeastern Division - Nashville, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, Washington

Central Division - Chicago, Minnesota, St. Louis, Winnipeg
Continental Division - Colorado, Dallas, Kansas City, Salt Lake City
Northwestern Division - Calgary, Edmonton, Seattle, Vancouver
Pacific Division - Anaheim, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Jose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

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