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NHL realignment: So what do you think? (also, suggested conference names)

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The official release from the NHL regarding a radical realignment propsal that must be approved by the NHLPA, but should begin for the 2012-13 season:

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (Dec. 5, 2011) — The National Hockey League Board of Governors tonight approved a four-Conference alignment format and authorized Commissioner Gary Bettman to implement this proposal, pending input from the National Hockey League Players’ Association. The format would create two eight-team Conferences and two seven-team conferences.

Under the format, every team would play every other team outside its conference twice — once home, once away.

In the seven-team Conferences, teams would play six times — three home, three away. In the eight-team Conferences, teams would play either five or six times in a season on a rotating basis; three teams would play each other six times and four teams would play each other five times. This process would reverse each season: An eight-team Conference member that plays an opponent six times in one season would play it five times the following season.

The top four teams in each Conference qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The first-place team would play the fourth-place team; the second-place team would play the third-place team. The four respective Conference champions would meet in the third round of the Playoffs, with the survivors playing for the Stanley Cup.

A look at the conferences, as yet to be named (our suggestions for the names):

= CONFERENCE A (Gretzky Conference?)

Anaheim

Calgary

Colorado

Edmonton

Los Angeles

Phoenix

San Jose

Vancouver

= CONFERENCE B (Howe Conference?)

Chicago

Columbus

Dallas

Detroit

Minnesota

Nashville

St. Louis

Winnipeg

=CONFERENCE C (Orr Conference?)

Boston

Buffalo

Florida

Montreal

Ottawa

Tampa Bay

Toronto

=CONFERENCE D (Lemieux Conference?)

Carolina

New Jersey

NY Islanders

NY Rangers

Philadelphia

Penguins

Washington

OK, so we here on the Trib’s hockey team want to hear from the dear readers about what do and do not like about this proposal. Please include your FULL NAME and HOMETOWN and check back soon for a gathering of the best responses.

Email hockeyday@tribweb.com or Tweet us at JoshYohe_Trib or RobRossi_Trib

Cheers,

Rossi

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Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi is the lead sports columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has been called many names, but “Rossi” is the one to which he most often responds. He joined the Trib in November 2002 and was promoted to the columnist role in July 2014. Previously, he had covered the NHL’s Penguins (2006-14) and MLB’s Pirates (2006), while also working on beats associated with the NFL’s Steelers (2005-06) and the NCAA’s Pitt (2004-06). He has won national and local awards for his coverage of youth concussions and athletes’ charities. Also, he is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association executive committee and the Pittsburgh chapter chair. Raised in Crafton and Green Tree and a graduate of West Virginia University, he has covered a Super Bowl, All-Star Games in baseball and hockey, the NCAA basketball tournament and over 100 Stanley Cup playoff games, including the Cup Final twice. Oh, and his sports reporting has led him to brief chats with Mick Jagger and Bruce Springsteen; so that’s pretty cool. He is a regular contributor on TV with WPXI, Root Sports Pittsburgh and TSN. Also, he is the authorized biographer of Penguins star Evgeni Malkin.

 
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