NHL Realignment Project – Week 48
• Rivalries — I tried my best to keep most of the major rivalries together. The more obvious ones are all here, of course, but even the “secondary” ones like the Sabres and the Leafs have been maintained where possible.
• Travel — Four conferences cut down on travel for the teams that currently have the heaviest burden. Teams with the lightest travel burdens right now add a little more, but are still in much better shape than the frequent-flier champs.
• Cold Belt — Unlike his previous efforts at expansion, Gary’s next moves put teams in historically hockey-centric markets. Couple that with moving Phoenix to Seattle, another city with hockey history, and we’re in a better place overall as a league in my opinion.
Each team plays:
– against its seven conference-mates twice at home and twice on the road each:
4 games x 7 teams = 28 games
– against the teams in the other conferences once at home and once on the road:
2 games x 24 teams = 48 games
– half of each conference (4 teams) pair up the the other half for an additional home-and-home series (switch the pairings each season):
2 games x 3 teams = 6 games
28 + 48 + 6 = 82 game season
• Top four teams from each conference qualify for a “final four” style tournament. All series are best of seven.
• Round 1: Conference Semifinals (1 seed vs. 4 seed; 2 vs. 3 (based on overall record))
• Round 2: Conference Finals (first round winners play each other)
• Round 3: Stanley Cup Semifinals (best overall record of remaining teams picks it’s opponent for this round)
• Round 4: Stanley Cup Finals
As always, thanks for reading, and don’t forget to use the sharing buttons to spread the word and wish me luck on my impending fatherhood in February.