NHL Realignment Project – Week 46

The Benefits:

• Opportunity — Teams in smaller markets with no hope of ever attracting an NHL team (either through relocation or expansion) would, in theory be able to earn their way up the food chain and get a shot at the Stanley Cup.

• Opportunity II — Cities that could probably do well with and NHL team (Seattle, Portland, Quebec City, Hamilton, Kansas City, Hartford, Las Vegas, Salt Lake) could find it easier to lure a team to there cities… by competing to convince Beta teams to relocate to their cities/arenas instead of jumping straight into the NHL (or Premier League, as it were). Once a team was in place, then the task would be to move up to Alpha and eventually Premier.

• Fan protection — Speaking of relocation… I’d ban any Premier or Alpha team from relocating to another city. If you’re good enough to be in the two most elite divisions, your fans deserve to know that their team won’t be stolen from them and moved to another city. Owners/GMs that engineered choke jobs to drive a team down into the Beta League just to relocate, would lose so much money in the process, it’d probably not be worth it.

Regular season awesomeness — Since promotion and relegation are based on regular season standings, not on playoff performance, the regular season has a whole hell of a lot of importance… top to bottom. Maybe this is the way to make the regular season as exciting as the regular season is in College Football.



Each team plays every other team twice at home and twice on the road: 4 games x 19 teams = 76 games


Playoffs (Premier and Alpha):

• Top 16 teams qualify.

• 1 vs 16, 2 vs 15, 3 vs 14, etc.

• reseed after every round

• Premier League champion earns Stanley Cup

• Alpha League champion earns Calder Cup

• Since promotion is a regular season reward



Just to reiterate: this will never, can never, should never happen. This was just for fun. As a fan of Brazilian Soccer (Galo!) I’ve often wondered how relegation might look in a North American league.

Some of the major issues here are:

– The AHL and NHL teams have affiliations with each other and often, the same owners.

– The NHL Draft would be a cluster if 60 teams were involved, I’m guessing.

– Travel would be a nightmare during the playoffs if geography was not part of the equation.

– Rivalries are the lifeblood of the league. This effectively kills them.


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