The issues surrounding the current NHL Lockout have given journalists plenty of things to ponder. Right now, the hot topic seems to be realignment. The latest idea, first brought up by the New York Posts’ Larry Brooks (@NYP_Brooksie) on Twitter , has the Columbus Blue Jackets and Winnipeg Jets swapping divisions for this year only. While this likely won’t happen why don’t we have a little fun by pretending it will? Hey, it can’t hurt. With that in mind, here’s a few reasons why I believe this swap would work.
To begin, neither team is exactly playoff caliber. The Jets are probably closer though, at least in terms of their prospect pool and current talent. With this in mind, the Jets joining the Western Conference‘s Central Division with the Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, St. Louis Blues and Nashville Predators would work out better than having the Blue Jackets because the Jets have the talent to hang with these teams. Plus, they’d get the chance to test themselves better as the Western Conference has produced four Stanley Cup champions since 2006.
The Blue Jackets, meanwhile, would fit well with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference‘s Southeast Division because they’re decent defensively and in goal, both areas which these teams struggle most. They’d also mainly face teams that have struggled to win it all two of the past three seasons. Heck, in the Southeast the Blue Jackets could become the playoff dark horse or Cinderella, roles held by the Lightning and Panthers the past two years.
Another thing, the biggest thing in my opinion, would be travel. In that regard, this swap would benefit everyone involved. This is because the Jets would mainly play other Western teams located within their own time zone. The Blue Jackets, on the other hand, would spend most of their time playing teams in the Eastern time zone which is closer to them. With this, the benefits wouldn’t only be in regard to time but also money as flying cross-country can’t be cheap.
Regardless of whether or not this happens it’s fun to think about because it gets people talking. Don’t agree? Just think about it for a moment. Now that we have you thinking, if you have the urge to leave thoughts regarding this realignment or would like to propose a new form of realignment please feel free to do so by leaving us a comment.