By now unless you live under a rock you’ve heard about the NHL’s radical realignment and by radical they mean doing what they did in the 80’s. Perspective The plan as it stands is to have 4 to be named later “conferences” and you play a majority of game against teams from your conference which were set up based on geography and time zones. In the 80’s they were called divisions that were based on geography and rivalries so you can see its totally different.
The Jets will be in a conference with 7 other teams. Minnesota, St. Louis, Detroit, Chicago, Dallas, Nashville and Columbus. I’m not going to go through the other conferences since for the foreseeable future these are really the only teams that will matter to Jets fans. Not only did the NHL realign but they also changed the playoff format. 4 Teams from each division make the playoffs and you play within you division for the 1st two rounds.
A nice addition to this plan is that each team will have to play every other team in the league in a home and home series. So now Jets fans will get at least one chance to see all the stars of the NHL unless thats the day their coach decides to give them a break.
Easier travel schedule for the Jets – This season has been rough for the boys from Winnipeg. There is only so many games you can play on your Ipad as you fly across the county on a chartered plane. Not sure how these poor souls have handled it. With the new plan the Jets travel will drastically decrease and they will play the majority of their games in the same time zone.
Rivalries – Since the Jets have been out of the league for 15 years al lot of the old hate fests have diminished. So now is the perfect time to start new ones. I know as a fan I can’t wait to see the vitriol build up between Winnipeg and its arch enemy Columbus. In all seriousness though this is a good thing, Winnipeg and Minnesota will play some great games in the coming years and who doesn’t love to hate on the Red Wings. This is going to be really good for the fans.
Better for broadcasters – Don’t let the NHL fool you with talk of travel or rivalries the really driving force behind this plan was broadcasting, everything else is just yummy yummy gravy. With the teams in the same timezone or just one off it makes broadcasting a lot easier. teams will have way more prime time game sin their own market therefore becoming more palatable to advertisers.
Jets are the only Canadian team in their division – Yes I would have loved to see us back with Edmonton and Calgary but in all honesty placing us in a division with them doesn’t make much sense. It would mean more travel and a lot of late games for the broadcasters. I remember as a kid having to stay up super late just to watch the Jets play the Kings on Canucks. As an old man now I need to go to bed early.
See the same teams over and over – For me I don’t see a problem with this. Sure right now Columbus isn’t the sexist team in the NHL but these things are cyclical and you need to look at things in the long term. Who knows maybe Columbus gets the next big superstar and then Winnipeg fans are treated to him at least 3 times a season at the MTSC.
So overall I think Winnipeg was a winner in the realignment lottery. They decreased their travel, made life easier on their broadcasters(which could mean more $$$) and can now create new rivalries. Mark Chipman is pretty happy and so should you.
Go Jets go!
Category: Jets News