The National Hockey League needed to think about realignment after the Atlanta Thrashers moved to Winnipeg to become the Jets again. It sounds like a plan may be close to have four new conferences that are based a lot more on geography and if I’m in Winnipeg, that has to be music to my ears right now.
Winnipeg would be bunched in with teams like the Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche. Those three cities are a whole lot closer than where Winnipeg is presently going for a divisional or conference game. It has become a real hassle for the Jets this season with all the travel and at least under this plan, the team would play most of their games in the same time zone with all but two teams in the Central time zone. Winnipeg has a special group of fans that waited for another NHL team to come back to town and finally got one, only to see the team having to travel thousands of miles for every divisional road game.
This realignment was a long time coming, even without Winnipeg coming back into the league, but this move makes the NHL look a lot better than it does right now. I’m sure before it is all over that there will some other move made to shift a team or two around, but fans in Winnipeg have to be happy that their team is going to get some natural rivals that are closer to town than down in Florida. It will only increase fan interest on television and in the arena, which is always what the league and the team wants anyway.