The NHL Loves Their Divisions But Why?

I Really Liked One vs Eight, Two vs Seven …. 

It was a hot summer’s eve in Chandler, Arizona and after a wonderful meal with friends the men adjourned to the family room to catch the Minnesota at Winnipeg game on satellite.  The gals who are obviously much, much smarter headed to the patio, sitting poolside enjoying the evening air. Like I said, much much smarter.  

The game barely held our attention so we decided that talking hockey was better than watching hockey on this night.  Believe me the hockey conversation was much better than the snoozefest at the MTS Centre.  As guys do, we were trying to figure out ways to fix our favorite teams and the conversation revolved around the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Detroit Red Wings and the Winnipeg Jets.  The geniuses that we are it was said and done in no time flat.  Hell, it’s not rocket science.

BUT, one thing we all agreed upon was the NHL and their infatuation with “Divisions” and this insane “Wildcard” format.  Why does the NHL feel the need to have two divisions with ridiculous names within each conference?  Why can’t they just play a balanced schedule within the conference and the top eight teams qualify for the post-season?  One plays eight … Two plays seven … three plays six … four plays five.  Simple, badda bing!

No need to worry if the one division was weaker and that the first place team in one division had an easier schedule etc., etc.  It basically eliminates the inequality of the former Southeast Division in the old Eastern Conference.  To take it even further, it wouldn’t break my heart if they played as one big thirty team league with a balanced schedule and the top sixteen make the playoffs.  We all know that will never happen so I’ll stop right there.

Somehow, somebody thought this made sense.

The conspiracy theorist in me believes there must have been some rule passed in the backrooms of the eastern power brokers that stated that Montreal and Boston must face each other and Philadelphia and Pittsburgh must also meet.  To hell with the newbies in the west.  They’re just damn lucky we invited them to our little club.  They are actually full members but not really.  Shhh!

Gary Bettman and his basketball background really irks me.  He doesn’t have to do everything his mentor David Stern did.  Just because the NBA has three meaningless divisions in each conference, it doesn’t mean the NHL has to follow suit.  Have an original idea Gary!  Why are you trying to incorporate divisions that are meaningless like the NBA, the Wildcard like in the NFL and MLB?  Hockey is allowed to be different.  That’s what makes it great.  

I’ve grudgingly come to terms with the shootout because it’s only allowed in the regular season although I despise it with every fibre of my being.  I’ve still not come to terms with some NHL hockey games awarding three points per game and other two points per game and I’ll keep writing about that until I’m eighty-five years old.

What’s next Gary?  March Madness brackets?  To hell with seeding, let’s do brackets.  Everybody loves brackets.  I know it’s not really all Commissioner Gary Bettman’s fault because the GM’s and/or BOG have to approve all changes.  I just really can’t believe this was thought of as “a good idea”.

Can we at least get back to two conferences with the top eight in each conference making the playoffs?  It’s not asking for much.    


  1. Gary’s next idea will be no playoffs and go the route of the English Premier League. Whomever finishes first in the league wins the Stanley Cup. Beware, NBC shows the English Premier League and Gary loves NBC.
    Jeremy Wiebe recently posted…Liverpool Tops City. Takes Control Of The Premier LeagueMy Profile

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