Blog Entry

Flyers chairman Snider expects total realignment

Posted on: November 15, 2011 11:41 am

By Brian Stubits

It's been a while since our last realignment update. When last we left you, the Flyers and Penguins were sharing their displeasure with any proposal that had them in separate divisions/conferences.

All along, the reports have said the NHL was looking to do as little as possible in regards to moving teams. In a perfect world for the powers that be, the Jets would be moved into the Central, perhaps the Blue Jackets go in the Southeast and you call it a day.

But life isn't that simple. There is the pressure of the Red Wings to move East. There is also the looming uncertainty of the Coyotes in Phoenix and whether they might move to, say, Quebec City.

Throw all of the above angles into a crockpot with the other spices affecting the situation added in and you have "total realignment" cooking, according to Flyers chairman Ed Snider.

“There has to be,” Snider told Tim Panaccio of CSN Philly about total realignment. “But our traditional rivalries will always be with us no matter how it is realigned. I’m pretty confident of that.”

Perhaps the reason for his confidence in that is his belief that the Pennsylvania teams will remain together, something which the proposal that was reportedly gaining steam did not feature.

“We’ll be together without question, if under a four conference set-up,” Snider predicted of the Flyers and Penguins. “We will have all our traditional rivals and some others in a four-conference setup.”

The question begs: what is total realignment? Could that be a situation where conferences aren't divided by east and west but instead split seemingly at random like the NFL and MLB? Does it mean a return to the four-conference format, as Snider alludes to? Does it mean Florida is joining the Northwest Division?

I think about the only thing we can safely assume is that "total realignment" would include the abolition of the six-division format currently in use. I wouldn't rule anything else out at this point (OK, I guess I'd rule out that Florida-to-Northwest, too).

If I had to put money down I'd expect to see the four-conference format that we used to enjoy, and not just because Snider hinted at it. I think it could give the league the most flexibility in the case of a Phoenix move to the East.

The idea has been discussed already of having unbalanced conferences a la Major League Baseball (although it looks like that won't remain as the Houston Astros are reportedly moving to the American League). Assuming that enough franchises would be happy with that idea, the realignment starts with 15 teams per conference and then they could easily flip to the unbalanced, 16/14 look with simply switching the Coyotes franchise to the East after their hypothetical move. If they stay, then you keep balanced conferences.

When this is all said and done, I can't imagine everybody will be happy. But such is life, the teams with the most clout -- Philadelphia and Pittsburgh each fall into this category -- are much more likely to get their way.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.


Since: Aug 11, 2008
Posted on: December 4, 2011 9:05 pm

Flyers chairman Snider expects total realignment

I don't know much but I know THIS...the Wild and the Jets need to be in the same division!Wink

Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: November 16, 2011 11:27 am

Flyers chairman Snider expects total realignment

You cant have unbalanced conferences if each conference fields 8 playoff teams. The concept is assenine. So only 50% of East teams make the playoffs but 57% of West teams make the playoffs? How is that remotely fair? And all that to satisfy the whiners in Detroit??? Detroit already got passed the assenine rule that shootout wins count less than OT wins in 4-on-4 (even though ALL OT games count for 3 points - which is another topic, but another stupid rule) because they were horrendous in shootouts the prior season.

Detroit can STFU and stay in the West. Columbus moves to the Southeast (they are eastern time zone, Nashville is Central, so it should be CLB or Phoenix relocation city moving East) and call it a day.

Since: Nov 16, 2011
Posted on: November 16, 2011 10:39 am

Flyers chairman Snider expects total realignment

Why are Bettman & Co. doing this?  Why are they following in the footsteps of the buffoons in MLB, the ACC, and the Big 10?  For that matter, why couldn't they do something in the 4 1/2 months between the sale of the Thrashers/Jets and the start of the regular season?  What are they, Congress?  It is so unbelievably simple.  All you do is make a four-team swap; Winnipeg to the Northwest, Colorado to the Pacific, Dallas to the Central, and Nashville to the Southeast.  <br /><br />So Phoenix moves to Quebec City in a couple years and the Nordiques are reborn.  Big deal.  Then you move Dallas back to the Pacific, Toronto slides back to the Central, and Quebec joins the Northeast.  <br /><br />The NHL setup is perfect right now.  Six 5-team divisions is perfect.  Two 15-team conferences is perfect.  The playoff structure is perfect.  Different-sized divisions looks asinine in baseball and it'll look asinine in hockey.  Why would you want to complicate scheduling like that? (And that's an easy fix, too; 5 games in the division, 3 games in the rest of the conference, 2 games outside the conference, 20+30+30=80.)<br /><br />And Detroit needs to shut up.  Sorry there are 15 teams geographically east of you.  Deal with it.  Your longest divisional road trip is 552 miles (STL).  Dallas's <em>shortest </em>divisional road trip is 885 miles (PHX).  And for you not to be in the same division as Chicago would be a violation of Sacred Hockey Law.

Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: November 16, 2011 7:44 am

Flyers chairman Snider expects total realignment

if the rivalry was only from the Pittsburgh side, why were you devastated when the Pens finally won one, I am sure you don't get devastated by every regular season loss.
That's an easy one.  When you continuously beat another team around and they don't win in your place you come to expect the W  even before the puck is dropped.  Until Lemieux won that first cup in Pittsburgh, I just figured they'd fold like a cheap lawn chair.  They'd always done that in Philly, why should I have expected differently.

Since: Dec 13, 2007
Posted on: November 16, 2011 1:48 am

Flyers chairman Snider expects total realignment

The NHL should worry more about their watered down game and not what divisions teams are in. They should have abandoned divisions ever since going to the 1-8 conference seed system. Just have 2 conferences with balanced schedules and call it a night. Teams play a balanced schedule within their own conference and play each other twice a year from the opposite conference so fans can see every NHL team in their home arena at least once. When Mark Recchi is still playing in a Stanley Cup Finalin 2011 the NHL has over expanded.

Since: May 22, 2011
Posted on: November 16, 2011 1:22 am

Flyers chairman Snider expects total realignment

Going back to the 4 divisions would be fine as long as they still seeded #1-#8 still in each conference. I get sick of constant division rivals games.Remember a few years ago when division rivals plyed 8 regular season games against each other? That was unbearable.Just imagine  if the first two rounds were only between the divisions. I know this was done in the past,but the current seeding works for more variety.  KEEP the #1-#8

Since: May 22, 2011
Posted on: November 16, 2011 1:14 am

Flyers chairman Snider expects total realignment

The NFL and MLB are hardly split at random. I know the article said seemingly, but at least these 2 leagues have honoured the traditions of NFL/AFL and the AL/NL. although Selig may have other plans in the future. Can't trust him at all , He has gone mad!!

Since: Sep 12, 2007
Posted on: November 16, 2011 12:53 am

Flyers chairman Snider expects total realignment

Instead of having conerences and divisions based on geographic locations, just go back to having the names of them be non-geographical like they used to when they had the Cambell and Wales Conerences? That way any team can be in any division and they can keep the rivalries within the division. That way it also doesn't sound weird when you have a team in Florida in the Northwest Division, that really is stupid.

Since: Sep 9, 2006
Posted on: November 16, 2011 12:52 am

Flyers chairman Snider expects total realignment

Phenoix won't be in a pacifc divison, because it looks like despite all the efforts of the nhl, when it is sold, it will likely not stay in phenoix, and will likely be in qubec, where they will be supported, i mean why bettman has tried to keep this team in phenoix is beyond me, the commuinty does not support it, and frankly probably wouldn't miss the team

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: November 16, 2011 12:24 am

Flyers chairman Snider expects total realignment

But DBowman, if the rivalry was only from the Pittsburgh side, why were you devastated when the Pens finally won one, I am sure you don't get devastated by every regular season loss.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or