So it's quickly becoming apparent that the NHL will, at some point in the near future, expand to 32 teams. It's really not a matter of if, but when. So since it's coming we might as well start throwing ideas out about how the NHL should do this so they don't completely botch it. They aren't going to listen to us (blogosphere, MSM writiers, common sense) but here's what they should do when they do it. I am going to make the following assumptions:
► Vegas, and KC will get a team. Also a team will move to Hamilton, because there's too much money trying to get it done, and while the Leafs and Sabres may object, Jim Balisille's a Billionaire and will find a way to buy his way into the area.
► One of the following three teams will be relocated to one of the above cities at some point in the near future: Nashville, Florida, or Atlanta. We'll assume Atlanta for now but it could easily be one of the other 2.
►Winnipeg is not getting another team. Ever. They have a population of ~650k. That's not enough to support a team.
Making the above assumptions here's what the divisions should be:
Clarence Campbell Conference
Las Vegas Loose Slots
St. Louis Blues
KC Baby Back Ribs
Columbus Blue Jackets
Detroit Red Wings
Prince of Whales Conference
Toronto Maple Leafs
Hamilton Black Berries
King Clancy Division
Tampa Bay Lightning
Play each team in division 4 times (12 games)
Play each team in conference 3 times (alternating the extra home game every other season) (36 games)
Play one division within the conference an extra time (4 games) (optional)
Play each team in the opposite conference twice. (32 games)
Total games: 84 or 78
Play each team in division 6 times (18 games)
Play each other team in conference 4 times (48 games)
Play each team in the other conference 1 time (16 games)
Total games: 82
I'd prefer the second option honestly, but I would be open to either
16 teams, 8 in each conference. Each division winner (seeded 1-4) plus 4 wild cards (seeded 5-8), pretty much the same.
GDT: Avalanche at Oilers 3/25/17 - Game #74
11 hours ago