First off, the NHL league is divided by conferences and divisions. The NHL League has 30 teams. Then it is broken down into two conferences – The Eastern Conference and the Western Conference. Each conference holds 15 teams. The two conferences are further broken down into divisions. Each Conference has 3 divisions of 5 teams. So the 5 teams in the 3 divisions will equal the 15 teams in the conference. Whew!
The NHL will now have 4 conferences and no divisions. The league will just be cut into quarters. So why change it now? What does this mean for the Kings? Let’s go over the before and after and find out.
*All I have is Paint, so the maps are not very fancy :-)
Here is the breakdown we have now with the 6 divisions. Notice the Pacific Division (where the King’s reside) is in purple:
Now look at the changes in the divisions:
Previously, our division had the Kings, Ducks, Sharks, Stars and Coyotes. We kicked out the Dallas Stars and added Calgary, Colorado, Edmonton and Vancouver. So we went from 5 teams to 8 teams. More teams to hate! Woo hoo!
- It makes sense for us to all be geographically together for flights and travel time. This doesn’t really concern the Kings much as we are still so far east that the travel will not really apply to us. It makes sense for the central teams the most. The East coast teams are all bunched up together so they have it easy on the travel side. No added travel.
- We will play every team outside our conference twice. One at home and one away. So you can see the Kings play the Eastern teams twice. The NHL says we can now see the superstars twice! Only superstars I want to see are right here in L.A.
- We don’t have to meet Detroit more than twice. Big advantage. Only one time per season having all those red jerseys at Staples. I love it!
- Because we are in the eight team conference, we will have one more team to beat to make it to the playoffs than the seven team conferences in the East.
- We addedVancouverto our conference so we will see the Canucks 2 additional times a year. This is very depressing because they bus those hipsters down here in droves.
- Remember Ryan Smyth? The guy who wanted to leave us and go home toEdmontonand we let him? The same guy who couldn’t score worth crap here and now leads his team in goals? Yeah, him. We get to see him 6 times every season instead of once or twice! The consolation is he is 36 so he will be gone soon. Hopefully.
The top four teams in each conference will make the playoffs. The first place team will play the fourth place team and the second faces the third. The four survivors will playoff for the finals and the Stanley Cup.
So there you go. Now they have to think of names for each Conference. Oh boy, what will those clever NHL GM’s decide!