Thursday, July 28, 2005

NHL Going Back to Four Divisions?

The Chicago Tribune is reporting that the NHL is considering a return to four divisions, and teams would have to play teams within the division for the first two rounds of the playoffs.

"When I first brought it up to [Commissioner Gary Bettman] he assured me it would be addressed after the collective bargaining agreement was done," the Hawks' senior vice president said at a Monday news conference announcing broad league and team changes.

A league spokesman declined comment on any potential changes to the playoff format, but word around the league is the change could happen as early as next season.

I just don't know enough about this yet to have an opinion on the matter. My biggest question is this: Would it leave any room in the schedule to play teams from the other conference? Also, this schedule would be unbalanced because two divisions would have eight teams and two divisions seven teams. How will that affect scheduling?

Thanks to Kukla's Korner (with a K) for the link.

Also, make sure to check out Off Wing's excellent Rink Notes post from yesterday. And Bob McKenzie points out how the Flyers took a hard-line stance with Jeff Carter and Mike Richards, saving some serious money, setting a precedent and putting themselves in great cap position.

And did anyone else notice in the schedule that the Wings-Hawks play each other three games in a row? That's just weird.