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NHL Realignment: For a more Jacked-up Patrick Division

The latest realignment murmurs again reconstitute the Patrick Division -- and also move Columbus from one Toughest Division in Hockey to the other.

Under one proposal, Radek Martinek and the Blue Jackets would... wait, what? That happened?
Under one proposal, Radek Martinek and the Blue Jackets would... wait, what? That happened?
Justin K. Aller

UPDATE, Feb. 26: There is an update on this from Friedman with much more, and interesting, detail. Original post follows below.

Like the cardinals gathering at the Vatican to select the next pope (will his number be retired?), the NHL and NHLPA have been meeting in secret to discuss a realignment plan so that the PA can say they had a voice too.

CBC's Elliotte Friedman discussed the report, and noted that it "still needs work," but that won't keep us from tossing it around for how it might affect the New York islanders.

As you recall last season, the NHL approved a plan that created four divisions -- er, "conferences" -- of eight or seven teams each. Playoffs would go old school, with the top four in each division making it and fighting amongst themselves. The Islanders would have to battle like always to have a fighting chance.

However, that realignment struck the NHLPA as unfair because a CBA was on the horizon and everything is to be postured over some teams would have a 4/8 chance of making the playoffs instead of 4/7. It doesn't look like they've addressed that -- perhaps some kind of wild card would assuage concerns about which dregs from each division sees the postseason -- but they do appear to have addressed the incessant whining coming out of Detroit and Columbus about being stuck in the wrong time zone.



In truth, the new proposal looks pretty good for everyone, at least time zone-wise: Detroit moves to the Northeast, Winnipeg moves to the Central (just like last year's proposal), and the Columbus Blue Jackets enter the veritable pit of hell known as the Atlantic, but more properly called the Atlantic. (Poor Columbus. They'd be moving from one division that frequently sends four to the playoffs ... to the other division that frequently sends four to the playoffs. Welcome to the party, pal.)

Yes, the six teams of the old Patrick Division would be reunited, with prodigal Hunter-worshipers Washington bringing the Carolina Hurricanes along with them.

The orphaned Florida teams again get lumped with the Northeast (so will Florida ever have a division title again?), but that's good for snowbird attendance and is proper punishment for them having nice weather during winter anyway.

For the Isles, this proposal wouldn't change much over last year's, other than adding a fellow patsy to punch around once in a while. So what say you? Can you dig it?