The National Hockey League is expected to expand to Seattle, WA to bring the total of teams up to 32. This will finally even off the Eastern and Western Conferences with 16 teams apiece. But, the expansion, which could come as soon as 2020, could lead to another realignment.
Many feel the league will just move the Arizona Coyotes to the Central Division and slide Seattle into the Pacific Division and stick with the same regular season and playoff format. However, Craig Morgan came up with an interesting realignment that would more sense.
As he mapped out for FanRag Sports, Morgan thinks the NHL should create four, four-team division in each conference. His plan would move the Nashville Predators to the East with the Detroit Red Wings coming back to the West.
Here are his proposed divisions:
Arizona (or Vegas)
Vegas (or Arizona)
MIDWEST (or CENTRAL) DIVISION
EAST (or NORTHEAST) DIVISION
New York Islanders
New York Rangers
Boston (or Buffalo)
Buffalo (or Boston to keep the rivalry with Montreal)
SOUTH (or SOUTHEAST) DIVISION
Under Morgan’s plan each team would play 18 games against their Division teams, 16 games against their “Subconference teams,” 16 games against Intra-conference team and 32 games against inter-conference teams.
The subconference will be the two divisions closest to each other so the Pacific Division would play their subconference games against the Northwest Division, the Midwest Division would play the West Division. Out east, the North Division would be a subconference with the East as would the Mideast and South Divisions. This will allow an extra home-and-home series with some of your closer rivals.
The playoff format would have each the division winners getting home ice advantage in the first round with the top four in points remaining from each conference filling out the 16-team field.
What do you think of this proposal?