Thursday, February 28, 2013
Hitch in realignment plans?
By Victoria Matiash
The process of hacking out a new NHL blueprint could hit a substantial wall in the near future. TSN's Darren Dreger suggests the odds of the NHLPA voting in favor of the league's current realignment proposal are about 50-50.
According to Dreger, the players don't like the potential playoff imbalance of having two divisions of eight teams in the "East", and only seven each on the other side of the country. And the easiest fix could be to leave the Columbus Blue Jackets or Detroit Red Wings in the "West". Which, in understatement, wouldn't go over well with either club.
As promised to long-time owner Mike Ilitch, the NHL is determined to shifted the Red Wings eastward. Plus, the league is concerned the Blue Jackets could be doomed if not moved. Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch suggests the organization wouldn't take that decision sitting down.
"... Told (the Blue Jackets) would fight like hell if plan is changed to send Detroit to the Eastern Conference and keep #CBJ in Western Conference … In that scenario, #NHL realignment would only make matters worse for #CBJ. Travel just as bad, and now they've lost only big opponent draw ..."
So, as relayed by Dreger, the "NHL will push hard to get (realignment) through as is". How hard the PA pushes back will determine whether this turns into another big kerfuffle between the two sides.