Detroit Red WingsDownload App

Detroit Red Wings: Where They Land in a Radical Realignment Proposition

Jordan MatthewsAnalyst IIIOctober 10, 2016

Detroit Red Wings: Where They Land in a Radical Realignment Proposition

1 of 32

    It might be the most talked about subject over the next year in the NHL—division realignment.

    Many ideas have been thrown around. Some think the same division structure should be kept with the Detroit Red Wings, Columbus Blue Jackets or Nashville Predators moving east, while others think a North/South Conference structure is better suited for the NHL.

    The current structure of the NHL's divisions features six, five team divisions. The teams play six games against their division rivals, four games against conference rivals and 18 games against teams of the opposite conference.

    I believe the best option for the NHL is to go from six divisions down to four divisions. Two having eight teams, and two having seven. With that said, here are the new NHL division with this proposed realignment.

Pittsburgh Penguins: Eastern Division

2 of 32

    Via the proposed realignment, Pittsburgh would lose three of its four division rivals. The biggest loss here is the games versus the New York Rangers.

    While some might see these three teams as a loss for Pittsburgh, their rivalry with Philadelphia will still be maintained, and they will also be grouped into the same division as the Washington Capitals, which is sure to please many.

Philadelphia Flyers: Eastern Division

3 of 32

    The Flyers are practically in the same exact situation as the Penguins here. They will lose all division rivals except Pittsburgh, but will also gain the advantage of a division rivalry with the Washington Capitals.

Washington Capitals: Eastern Division

4 of 32

    The Washington Capitals are a team that would grossly benefit from this realignment. Washington is currently housed in a division that doesn't necessarily have another big-money team. The closest they can get to that is the Tampa Bay Lightning.

    Via the proposed re-alignment, Washington would still have their rivalry with Tampa Bay, but would also pick up Pittsburgh and Philadelphia as division rivals.

Carolina Hurricanes: Eastern Division

4 of 32

    Carolina is another team that will benefit from this realignment, as they gain division rivals in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, while they still get to keep the Washington Capitals in their division.

Florida Panthers: Eastern Division

5 of 32

    The Florida Panthers are a team that could very well be on the move themselves, but as the current teams stand, Florida would land in the Eastern Division.

    And if there ever were a chance to save them, adding big-money teams in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia to their division should be adequate.

Tampa Bay Lightning: Eastern Division

6 of 32

    How does this realignment not benefit the Tampa Bay Lightning? Three of the NHL's biggest stars, Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin and Steven Stamkos, all in the same division.

    Like every other team, the addition of Pittsburgh and Philly as division rivals should be a boost for the Lightning.

Nashville Predators: Eastern Division

7 of 32

    Think it's a typo? Think again. In the interest of not breaking up rivalries, the Nashville Predators are the best option to make a big move.

    Losing Detroit and Chicago as division rivals will hurt, but the Predators shouldn't stumble too far considering they would add Pittsburgh, Philly, Washington and Tampa Bay.

Boston Bruins: Northeast Division

8 of 32

    Yes, the first team in the newly formed Northeast division are the 2011 Stanley Cup Champions, the Boston Bruins.

    Not only does Boston get to stay with their entire division, but they also add division rivals in the Rangers, Devils and Islanders. Any complaints there?

Montreal Canadiens: Northeast Division

9 of 32

    Next up is the Bruins' archrival. Montreal should love this division, as they keep both of their big rivals in Boston and Toronto, and add an Original Six Rival in the New York Rangers.

Buffalo Sabres: Northeast Division

11 of 32

    Buffalo might be one of the most improved teams in the NHL, and they'll certainly love adding fellow New York teams in the division realignment.

Ottawa Senators: Northeast Division

12 of 32

    The Senators need all the help they can get, and should be willing to try anything. Maybe a division realignment will help.

Toronto Maple Leafs: Northeast Division

13 of 32

    No room to complain about this realignment for Toronto. The richest team in the league would add the second richest to their division in New York.

    Money + Money = Money.

New York Islanders: Northeast Division

14 of 32

    Much like the Ottawa Senators, just moreso off the ice, the New York Islanders need a serious spark. If adding three Original six teams to their division doesn't help, I don't know what can.

New Jersey Devils: Northeast Division

15 of 32

    They might not be keen on the idea of losing Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, but if adding Toronto, Montreal and Boston as division rivals isn't an adequate replacement for the Devils, nothing is.

New York Rangers: Northeast Division

16 of 32

    Remember when we said that Money + Money = Money? Add a fourth Original six team to the Northeast Division and my new question is what's Money to the fourth power?

    I hate math, so the best I can say is that it's a whole lot of damn money.

San Jose Sharks: Western Division

17 of 32

    Yes, the San Jose Sharks are the first of four Pacific teams that will help make up the new Western Division.

    San Jose will keep all major rivals and maybe add a new one.

Anaheim Ducks: Western Division

18 of 32

    QUACK! QUACK! QUA— Wait... New NHL. We're supposed to forget that movie existed.

    Regardless, the Ducks should be happy about this realignment, as they have the possibility of adding new division rivals.

Phoenix Coyotes: Western Division

19 of 32

    Whoops... Wrong Picture.

Colorado Avalanche: Western Division

20 of 32

    The first of four Northwest teams in the new Western Division, the Colorado Avalanche would have a tremendous opportunity to build rivalries with the California teams.

Vancouver Canucks: Western Division

21 of 32

    Let's be honest. The runners up in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals should be in the Pacific division anyways, but with this realignment, they'll have the opportunity to keep most Northwest Rivals while adding Pacific Rivals.

Calgary Flames: Western Division

22 of 32

    If Calgary is thinking about trading their captain, Jarome Iginla, to a Pacific team, they might want to think again. That team could become a division rival.

Edmonton Oilers: Western Division

23 of 32

    Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver would all stay in the same division via this realignment plan. Any complaints? Didn't think so.

Los Angeles Kings: Western Division

24 of 32

    Yes, the Los Angeles Kings will be in the Western Division. The question is, will Drew Doughty be in the Western Division?

Chicago Blackhawks: Central Division

25 of 32

    Chicago is one of four current Central teams that will help make up the new Central division.

    While keeping the Detroit Red Wings as their top rival, Chicago will have the opportunity to add the Minnesota Wild as a rival.

Minnesota Wild: Central Division

26 of 32

    What's not to like about this move for the Wild? Sure, they might play in a tougher division, but they add rivalries with Detroit, Chicago and, maybe most importantly, Dallas.

Dallas Stars: Central Division

27 of 32

    Watch a game between the Stars and the Blues and I can almost guarantee you'll see a fight. With both teams looking to be sold, becoming division rivals could be beneficial to both of them.

    Adding Detroit and Chicago as rivals certainly wont hurt the Stars either.

St. Louis Blues: Central Division

28 of 32

    St. Louis shouldn't lose a step with this realignment, as they'll keep big-money teams in the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks, and will add the Dallas Stars in their division as potential rivals.

Columbus Blue Jackets: Central Division

29 of 32

    Like the St. Louis Blues, Columbus shouldn't have a problem with this realignment, as they will be able to keep the Red Wings and Blackhawks in their division, and they will have an opportunity to make new rivals.

Winnipeg Jets: Central Division

30 of 32

    No matter what, the Jets are going to find it difficult at first to develop new rivalries. Lucky for them they've already sold out most of their building for the next five years.

    The excitement for a new team alone should be able to carry Winnipeg long enough until they can build new rivalries. Minnesota and Winnipeg alone in the same division is an exciting possibility.

Detroit Red Wings: Central Division

31 of 32

    Yes, the final team, the Detroit Red Wings, will stay where they are. The Red Wings have the opportunity of keeping the Chicago Blackhawks as their division rival, while adding Minnesota and Dallas as potential foes.

    Sure, stars like Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg could grossly benefit from Eastern exposure, but the Red Wings need to stay in the Central, and more important, with Chicago.

Want More Coverage?

32 of 32

    Jordan Matthews is fan of the NHL and the Detroit Red Wings. For more coverage you can become a fan of him on Bleacher Report or follow him on Twitter by clicking the follow button below.

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices