DISCLAIMER: I TYPED A BOAT LOAD OF TEAM NAMES HERE AND SOME MAY HAVE BEEN LOST BECAUSE WE ARE TOO POOR/LAZY TO AFFORD AN EDITOR/PROOFREAD. PLEASE BEAR WITH ME/US. THANK YOU/THEM. I'LL STOP WITH THE SLASHES NOW/FAIL.
Of the many horrors Commissioner No Goal has brought upon the NHL in the last twenty years, the creation of the Eastern and Western Conferences sits steadfastly in the top 5...sandwiched somewhere betwixt The Phoenix Coyotes and the Versus Television Contract.
Hockey In The Desert.......totally worth saving!
I understand the need for Eastern and Western Conferences. With 23 American teams and 7 Canadian teams across four time zones, a geographic split among teams is unavoidable. However, now that No Goal's redistribution strategy is blowing up in his face, I think it's time to examine a) where the teams should be placed b) the nomenclature of said new structure and c) where we should have teams and their placement (not your typical realignment post...fooled you reader).
This picture eerily reminds me of Scizzer. I'll post whatever the hell I goddamn please, thanks.
First, we'll start with the Western Conference and its three divisions - The Pacific, The Northwest, and The Central. I would eliminate the three divisions and split the conference into two superdivisions along geographical lines. I'd rename the Conference the Clarence S. Campbell Conference, and the divisions would be the Gretzky Division and the Norris Division (sorry Conn Smythe, you already have the second most famous trophy named after you, relax). In fairness to everyone else, I would finally rename the Norris Trophy for the Best Defenseman to the Orr Trophy...because it's stupid to have a division AND an EOY trophy at the same time. DIGRESSING.....anyway, they would be comprised as follows:Norris Division:- Vancouver- Edmonton- Calgary- Winnipeg- Detroit- Minnesota- ChicagoGretzky Division:-
San Jose- Los Angeles- Anaheim- Colorado- Phoenix- Dallas- St. LouisAs you can see, I've moved Columbus and Nashville into the eastern super-conference in the interests of keeping hockey viable in those parts (happy, 3rdManIn?!). The idea that most roadies for Columbus fans entail 10 PM starts is as ridiculous as
putting two hockey teams in the State of Florida. So, forthwith...the Eastern Conference.
Ah old time east coast hockey...where they played on sawdust basketball courts in chicken coops, apparently. Tradition!
Appropriately, I've renamed the Eastern Conference the Prince of Wales Conference, as it should always be named. Seriously, why did you pander so hard to the image of the illiterate American, NHL? Did you think the average fan would be so confused by fancy names he or she would immediately click off the television? What the shit did you think was going to happen once said average fan ran into your obfuscated disciplinary policies and the thankfully ousted two-line pass?! ANYWHENCE. I digress. In keeping with the Campbell Conference mega-division idea, I've created two 8 team divisions, appropriately named the Beliveau Division (arguably the greatest player ever behind Gretzky, Lemieux, & Orr...and I'm not giving Lemieux shit while he's alive) & the Arbour Division (Al Arbour coached 1500 games, the Isles for 19 seasons, and won 4 straight cups....that is a ridiculous feat considering they are THE NEW YORK ISLANDERS). Without any further ado:
- New York Islanders
- New York Rangers
- New Jersey
- Tampa Bay
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT BUT SOMEHOW THE SAME....
COME WITH ME IF YOU WANT TO LIVE!
Here's where it gets tricky as shit. As you all know, I'm more of a traditionalist when it comes to teams and where they're placed. I don't particularly believe in the Southern Strategy, and I certainly don't think Canada should be deprived of professional hockey if it demonstrates it can support it consistently. If anything can be learned from MLS, leagues should put teams where they'll thrive, not where owners and commissioners wish they would thrive. ANYWAY. Should the day come when Scotty Bowman manages to slay No Goal and order is restored to the Universe and a 1/2 hour ESPN Hockey Tonight gloriously boots Around The Horn off the airwaves forever, this is what the conferences should look like (I'm sorry, 3rdManIn
- Chicagoland (goodbye forever, Phoenix)
- San Jose
- Los Angeles
- St. LouisI've eliminated the joke of a franchise currently crapping along in Phoenix and replaced it with a second franchise in North America's 4th largest metropolitan center.
I've stayed away from hockey in the desert entirely, because I simply do not agree with the tremendous waste of energy it takes to run an ice hockey arena in 100+ degree heat 250 days a year....Las Vegas is a terrible idea, no matter how badly horny beat writers want to head there on assignment twice a year.
God this picture is just too good. Unfair? Yes. Priceless? Fuck and Yes.
ONWARD. So I've fudged a bit with the Campbell Conference, but I really started to get tricky with the Wales Conference. Here is my ideal version of the Prince of Wales Conference (if we're continuing ideal utopias, I'd also like to eliminate any mentions of Ryan Miller's pallatability, Tim Connolly's viability, and Derek Roy as a 1A...but I just don't have enough time)
Prince of Wales Conference:
- Quebec (goodnight, Tampa...we barely cared)
- Toronto Maple Leafs
- Toronto Marlboroughs (fuck you forever, Carolina!)
- New York Islanders
- New York Rangers
- New Jersey
- Kansas City (WHOA SEE WHAT I DID THERE!? MORE HOCKEY IN MIZZOU!??? CRAZY TALK. Also, hockey in Miami? Come on now.)
So there you have it. My realistic realignment and my ridiculous realignment (alliteration fail). In a perfect world, one would happen. However, I'll leave you with one last thought before you hit the video....I think the renaming of the Conferences/Divisions is far more important than where exactly each team ends up. Reaching back into hockey's past is what the majority of fans love about the game, from throwback jerseys to the Cup itself....hockey is about looking back AND looking forward. Somebody needs to slap that into No Goal's midget head. But for now...we wait...