The NHL needs to be realigned. That is not breaking news.
The most recent proposal for realignment would have four divisions rather than the current six. Every team would have a home-and-home against the teams outside their division.
The biggest change would be in the playoffs. The top four teams from each division would make the playoffs. The first two rounds would essentially serve as a regional lead-in to the Final Four, as each regional would consist of the four teams from the four divisions.
Detroit Red Wings fans have to be drooling.
It is uncertain in which conference the Wings would be, but it really does not matter. Does the regular season really matter to a team that has not missed the playoffs since Bush’s first full year in office? Not George W. Bush. His dad.
The biggest difference will be the playoffs. Ever since the NHL has gone west looking for gold in major markets, the Wings have been at an extreme disadvantage. The road to the Stanley Cup always seems to make a couple of stops on the Left Coast for the Wings.
Travel and time change are usually regarded as excuses to losses and playoff exits. But look at the Wings last ten playoff appearances. Three times, the Wings went to the Stanley Cup Finals. The other seven years, the Wings lost to San Jose twice, Anaheim twice, Edmonton, Calgary, and Los Angeles. All of those teams would be in the Western Conference division opposite of the Wings.
If the realignment takes shape, the Wings can kiss the excuses goodbye. And possibly kiss 35 pounds of silver more often.