Realignment, Part II - New Developments

My proposed time zone based division alignment for 2012-13.
Craig Custance of Sporting News reports that serious NHL division realignments are being planned, specifically 4 divisions, 2 with seven teams and 2 with eight. So, I've decided to come up with my own divisions based on that idea (the names are there just because I wanted to call them something, for convenience' sake). Here they are:

The Lemieux Division - named after Pittsburgh Penguins center Mario Lemieux
⊳ Teams: Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins, Detroit Red Wings, Columbus Blue Jackets, Philadelphia Flyers, Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning   

⊳ The Orr Division - named after Boston Bruins defenseman Bobby Orr
⊳ Teams: Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils, Buffalo Sabres, Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators, Montreal Canadiens

⊳ The Hull Division - named after Chicago Blackhawks & Winnipeg Jets left wing Bobby Hull
⊳ Teams: Winnipeg Jets, Chicago Blackhawks, Nashville Predators, St. Louis Blues, Dallas Stars, Colorado Avalanche

⊳ The Gretzky Division - named after Edmonton Oilers & Los Angeles Kings center Wayne Gretzky
⊳ Teams: Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks, Anaheim Ducks, Phoenix Coyotes, Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames

Overall I think these are fantastic. The Lemieux and Gretzky divisions will be absolute powerhouses (Red Wings, Caps, Pens, Flyers, Bolts? Sharks, Kings, Ducks, Canucks, and the Oilers with their slew of high draft picks?). Along with a balanced schedule and a new method for playoff qualification (because it would appear the conferences are going away), this could really make the NHL even better than it is today.


  1. That would probably mean Columbus, and maybe Detroit would be heading "east".

  2. Valtard27.6.11

    Chicago and Detroit not only in different divisions, but also not even in the same conference? That would mean only 1 game per year between them. I don't think NHL would want to break up that rivalry.

  3. @Valtard the NHL has said they are re-doing the schedule layout, meaning that even if Detroit and Chicago weren't in the same division (and I don't even know if there would be conferences anymore) they would, almost certainly, play more than 1 game against each other each season. I agree that there is no way the NHL would break that rivalry up.