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NHL realignment - Going to 4 Conferences(or not...) (merged)

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One good thing is that we wont have to worry about Division titles anymore they mean nothing to me. Stanley Cup is more important this will make teams more competitive to get into the playoffs. Also we wont have boring match ups against Tampa Bay or Florida. More fans will see teams play us like Pittsburgh, New Jersey, Philadelphia etc. Only thing is why couldn't they make each conferences have like same amount of teams in each 4?

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One good thing is that we wont have to worry about Division titles anymore they mean nothing to me. Stanley Cup is more important this will make teams more competitive to get into the playoffs. Also we wont have boring match ups against Tampa Bay or Florida. More fans will see teams play us like Pittsburgh, New Jersey, Philadelphia etc. Only thing is why couldn't they make each conferences have like same amount of teams in each 4?

That's due to the number of teams in the league. If they wanted 7 teams each, they'd have to retract to 28 (or expand to 32 for 8 teams each). That's one of the few things where it made sense to have six divisions (5 teams each).

I know I posted it in the other thread, but I really feel like the CBA negotiations will determine just how competitive we're allowed to be. There are a lot of tough teams in our conference and I don't see us standing much of a chance without spending closer to the cap. Only problem is we can't really afford to, unless some sort of revenue sharing comes into play (I think it already does at least minimally). Maybe a smaller window between cap and floor would help, along with some way to keep the cap from increasing as much as it does every season.

Edited by Stealth-ch1

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What screwball put this together and then claims that it's geograpically aligned? Fla and TB should be switched with NYI and NYR.

Oh, and 5th just became the new 9th. With Pit, Phi, NYR and Was in our conference, I expect a lot of 5th place finishes in the Sid/Ovi era.

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I don't know quite how to feel about this yet, but here are my initial thoughts. Looks like this decade will see 2 more teams added to the NHL which will be really cool. We are a team on the verge of collecting a GREAT team. We need to develop our young guys and trade for a top 6 forward or two. I look forward to the next few years.

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There is a logical reason why they put tb and fla with the Canadian teams. The biggest attendance nights in tb/fla are against Canadian teams because there are a lot of transplants from Canada in Florida. Same reason why we get 1/2 an arena with pits/flyers fans, they get 1/2 an arena of mtl and leaf fans. Not the greatest in terms of atmosphere, but ticket sales are ticket sales...

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The loss of Atlanta hockey appears to have ended any chance of "Southern Hockey" as a viable concept. This alignment screams for team relocation and expansion.

Although I don't see any natural rivals for us perhaps over the years some will build. We may regard Washington as a big rival but I'll bet Caps fans don't. We are kinda of like the poor relation who is a last minute invite to a dinner party to fill an empty chair.

Like many Hurricane fans these are the teams I grew up watching so for ticket sales it makes sense to have NY, Philly and Pitt in our group. Yet I thought the rivalry with TB and Fla was growing and if we had added Nashville to the mix it would have been an instant rivalry. Oh well, c'est la vie!

It will be a tough group. Not impossible to finish in the top four in the near future but we won't be able to compete with this group on the cheap so I think we better figure out a way to go out and get some talent.

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A plus is that PK is going to have to spend more or it's going to be high draft picks for the foreseeable future. Also it was looking like we were going to be missing the playoffs for the next 2-3 years anyway, and in the old divisions I don't think the hurricanes would be able to last that long in NC without playoff hockey. With the new divisions we will sell more tickets to opposing fans so PK will lose less money and that extends how long the hurricanes will be able to stay here without playoff hockey. Of course we're going to feel even more like visitors when we're at home than we already do.. but it gives management a little time to right the course. IDK how much faith anyone has in them anymore though who knows what they are going to do

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If this hasn't already been posted and I missed it... a nice visual map of the breakdown.

http://assets.sbnati..._2011-12-03.png

http://www.sbnation....our-conferences

Those are nice breaks downs and visuals, thanks for posting them. The FL teams really look out of place in that breakdown but I guess breaking up the SE was one of the goals.

I like the idea that 4 out of 7 teams in the division will make the playoffs but that's about all I like. I don't care for the playoff format and I'm pretty sure I'll have had enough of seeing my conference opponents by mid season. I remember when the league back loaded the end of the season schedules with division games a few years back trying to stir up some rivalries and I thought I would scream if we had to play one more game against Washington those last two weeks. And that was back when the Caps were perennial bottom feeders, before the OV draft.

Since The Canes org. supported this decision and voted in favor for it, I hope there's a plan somewhere to help make us competitive with the big market teams who seem to have bottomless pockets and spend to the cap each season.

Which brings me to another important factor, are they planning to lower the cap to even the playing field again?

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If you thought the playoffs were hard to make as of right now. We're about to have the Pens, Caps, Devs, Rangers, Flyers, and the Islanders in the same conference with Carolina. We are so screwed if this happens....

Must read

This has a familiar ring to me...in the year before the lockout JR booted Mo' brought in an aggressive coach and began to blow up the team. We added Justin Williams and then added some speed and savy with Stillman and Williams. In 2005-2006, we were way ahead of the curve with the new rules in place and it brought the cup to Raleigh. This year, same thing and very easy movable parts to blow this team up and rebuild for the future.

I think JR was in the know in '04-'05 about the rule changes and I expect the same here.

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Not sure why they would lump the Canadian (Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa) and northern teams (Buffalo, Boston) with the Florida teams. I would have thought they'd pair us up with the Florida teams and possibly Nashville. Seems geographically like they just skipped around us in making those divisions.

It has already been said, so I'm repeating. This is for the snowbirds. Half of Ottawa and Quebec spend their winters in FL. They'll be going to games.

So it is pretty clear that the SE teams were "happy" with this purely on a business basis. Attendance will shoot up for sure. Calendar is now cleared of all those CAR-TBL and CAR-FLA games which drew nothing.

A plus is that PK is going to have to spend more or it's going to be high draft picks for the foreseeable future. Also it was looking like we were going to be missing the playoffs for the next 2-3 years anyway, and in the old divisions I don't think the hurricanes would be able to last that long in NC without playoff hockey. With the new divisions we will sell more tickets to opposing fans so PK will lose less money and that extends how long the hurricanes will be able to stay here without playoff hockey. Of course we're going to feel even more like visitors when we're at home than we already do.. but it gives management a little time to right the course. IDK how much faith anyone has in them anymore though who knows what they are going to do

At first glance at the new plan, I thought "oh no, we are toast". But the points you make give me hope. PK MUST open his wallet. Presumably, he'll have more money to do so with all the stub-hub drunken boys coming down and spending their cash.

Being a fan at games is gonna be tough if the Canes continue to be whipping boys. But all it takes is a little winning, then attending those games with all the visiting fans is actually a lot of fun.

Trying to keep the faith. But PK and JR, you are going to have to do something.

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One more thought:

I know we are all concerned that this format is going to kill us for reaching the playoffs, what with the likes of PIT, NYR, PHI, WAS consistently ahead of us.

But I want to remind everyone of one thing. We've only made the playoffs 2 out of the last 6 seasons as it is!

Those were two great appearances. But only 2. Out of 6.

Not sure it is going to matter much.

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The main advantages for us seem to be home attendance (we get a lot of games against teams with a lot of transplants, and good teams people want to see), and we get a free pass not having 8 teams.

In a strange way it may be good for the organization to see that they have to go for it or become the Clippers of hockey. Under the current system a HUGE bulge of teams are technically in the race until very late, as the middle gaggle of teams are usually fairly clustered. Under this one, several teams will be clearly way out of it sooner in the year. The strategy of playing for the last spot will generally not work in that conference. You better get the talent to compete or else.

The past few years have made it clear that even in the current system casting around for the 8th spot is a risky strategy, that leaves you a little weaker every year until....this year happens.

Looking out at Was, Pitt, Philly, NYR, even NJ, we can't just stand pat with subpar talent. I would even venture to say that, like Washington, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Edmonton, etc, even the NYI with another top pick this year, might be pretty good at some point.

Looks like a few tough years before we're in the playoffs, but maybe a rebuild surprises.

Again, this will force this team to buck up, or become a perennial whipping boy. Not sure we're ready for that, but I guess we'll see.

Edited by remkin

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I'm playing my "hockey noob" card here, so please forgive my ignorance for any future comments. It seems we're going to become Conference D's punching bag, at least in the short term. As mentioned before, a lot of the other teams in this new conference are better off financially, and I think it's fair to say that we are the smallest market out of all of them. I'm hoping, HOPING that we will draw more revenue because we'll be playing these more marketable teams, and in turn, will allow us to be more aggressive with FA's, contracts, etc. As said before, we're going to have to keep up, or we will dwell near the bottom.

I know that teams who make the playoffs is a cyclical process, but I think WSH, PIT, and PHI will be playoff staples, and I'd put NYR and NJ in the second tier to battle for that 4th spot. The good news is that we only have to beat 3 teams to make the playoffs. The bad news is that, at best, I think we're going to hope to barely get in as a 4th seed in most years.

I'm hoping this all works out for us, for the reasons everyone has mentioned already. Competitively, I think we will get better once we get some pieces this offseason that better fit Coach K's playing style. I think we definitely got a tough draw, but to use a baseball analogy...if our new conference is like the AL East, I hope we turn out more like the Tampa Bay Rays than the Baltimore Orioles.

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Guys, we're going from a division full of small market teams to a conference full of teams that are spenders. We are in very big trouble and will probably never make the playoffs ever again. Are you people not concerned in the least bit about this shake up?

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Guys, we're going from a division full of small market teams to a conference full of teams that are spenders. We are in very big trouble and will probably never make the playoffs ever again. Are you people not concerned in the least bit about this shake up?

Maybe some are willing to see what the Canes do in response? They did willingly vote for this realignment so they must have some ideas on how to make this team more competitive within the new conference, right?

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Or they are looking at it as the ability to sell tickets based on the amount of transplants mentioned before. Maybe winning is not really a concern as long as tickets are solid. it is after all a business.

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Or they are looking at it as the ability to sell tickets based on the amount of transplants mentioned before. Maybe winning is not really a concern as long as tickets are solid. it is after all a business.

Of course they're looking at the likely increase of ticket sales, Jr has been pretty honest about that but that extra gate (and likely increase in STH's) will be what helps to raise the spending and ultimately make us more competitive. Us Canes fans might not like that approach but the reality of it is that attendance is down, fans have lost trust in the product and the positive momentum of growth we experienced after 2006 and the All Star game is gone or at least on hold for now. Hopefully as the product gets better and the trust is rebuilt, the number of red jerseys in the stands increases too.

Its pretty disappointing thinking this is what it might take to build this all back up again knowing how good things were not too long ago, but it is what it is and we're here whether we like it or not.

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Hopefully with being in this new division the Canes will be willing to spend more money so that we aren't down with the Isles year after year. Going to be a very tough division with teams that are from places that like to play very uptempo hockey and also have a pretty physical edge to them. Hopefully with the Canes in a rebuild year they are able to fugure it our this season and not wait til next season!

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