The Coyotes may be uprooted from their warm home in Glendale soon. I figured I'd write a couple of paragraphs exploring the hypothetical implications of said move.If you're like me, you're from Sacramento, and are experiencing the potential move of the Kings to another city. The local paper has been littered with rumors and opinions about where the Maloofs want to move and why. It's hard for a journalist to make any sort of valid conclusion, given the complex nature of the decisions to be made. Personally, I'm fed up with hearing about it as the whole thought of the Kings leaving home would upset me. So, I turn to another team's misfortune!
Slightly more than average hockey fans have probably heard about the Coyotes' possible move, due to turbulence involving their ownership. I don't pretend to know all the details, but I know that the potential owner and the city want to sue the Goldwater Institute for charging ridiculous amounts of interest while "filibustering" the deal, and the Institute claims that it's the city filibustering! So, without trying to predict where, if anywhere, the Coyotes' go, I'll just pretend they've gone to Winnipeg and try and figure out what the league would look like after.
We're probably all familiar with this:
Simply the map of the current NHL teams. Excuse the poor quality, but I'm trying to avoid copyright infringement so I made my own in paint. The color code is by division. The talk is for PHX to be moved to Winnipeg, and the NHL likes to divide divisions by geographic location, which is why they picked the names, and why they renamed the conferences to the simple East/West it is today. So let's see what would happen:
Now that doesn't make too much sense to keep Winnipeg in the Pacific division. It would require too much explanation to our grandchildren about why Winnipeg is part of our division, when clearly it is not on the Pacific ocean, nor any ocean, for that matter (unless you count that giant lake). So here's one possible solution:
(This whole move doesn't make sense anymore, once I got a 1st grade geography lesson from the comment section. You guys were all pretty nice about it, by the way. But I'm gonna leave it in here 'cause it's in the poll...)
The move doesn't change much for the Sharks. St Louis is usually down in the standings, and currently sits 13th out of 15 with no hopes of gaining ground on CBJ. That is a trend fairly typical of STL. This season STL has gone 7-8-1 against the Pacific. That is a losing record, and they have an overall losing record against every division in the west. Not to mention, besides the two newly acquired assets in Shattenkirk and Stewart, there aren't many players that the Sharks would be interested in trading for. We all know that trades within the division rarely happen. When they do, though, they're hockey-world-shattering. The lack of points going in to STL would inject the Ducks, Stars, Kings and Sharks all with more points. More points for the Sharks = good, as they are typically above the other 4 Pacific teams in the standings. Problem is, this is due in part to the Sharks having the Coyotes' number. Of course, that same argument can be made about any new divisional lines, so having it be a con of the new divisional lines may be redundant, since we have to assume here the 'Yotes are leavin'. MIN would have to be added to the central division, because of proximity. MIN's worst record against any division is against the central at 6-8-2. Multiply that by how much more frequently they'll play their division rivals and all of a sudden DET, CHI, NSH and CBJ might look like a lot better of teams. Therefore, this move would be marginally bad for SJ. So let's try another new line:
Here COL becomes part of the Pacific division, a division they've gone 3-11-1 against this season so far. If there were any whose number was more had than the Coyotes by the Sharks, it's the Avalanche! Of course, so does just about every other team in the league right now. Having COL in the Pacific would create some separation in the Pacific, making the battle for the top spot between 4 teams, instead of all 5. I see one more possible configuration, so let's take a look:
This is probably the worst redrawing of the lines for the Sharks, and unfortunately the most probable; VAN has gone 12-4-2 against the Pacific this season. The fact that VAN is on the Pacific coast makes them a likely candidate to join the ranks of the elite Pacific division. The competition would be frightening, and the Sharks would likely be doomed to be 3rd place in the conference until Luongo and the Sedin twins retire. However, the games would be awesome! Each and every SJS/VAN game is more exciting than the last.
So, in summation, let's vote for COL to join the Pacific, but if it's Vancouver in the end, we can all expect on some exciting hockey in the future.
Which team would you like to see join the Pacific division the most?
St Louis Blues (2 votes)
Colorado Avalanche (37 votes)
Vancouver Canucks (18 votes)
57 total votes