After long-awaited (alright, not really) anticipation, it finally happened. This week, a Seattle group (Oak View) formally applied to become the 32nd team in the NHL. This isn't the first time the Emerald City's dabbled in the NHL: Seattle applied for an expansion bid in 1974, but had their bid terminated due to missing many key deadlines.
Now that Seattle's in the mix, it's time to realign the divisions once again. Now here's a little method to my madness. In order to reduce the travel cost (or try to, at least) and maintain the finest rivalries in the NHL, I've scrapped the Western and Eastern Conferences and have divided four new conferences, consisting of two four-team divisions. Scheduling will consist of playing teams outside of the division twice (one home, one away) with the exception of two games against the top/bottom two teams of the opposing division in conference. The two games will depend on where a team stood in their division from last season (if the Vegas Golden Knights were in first place in their division, they would face the top team of the opposing division at home and the second place team of the opposing division on the road. The top team in the division for that season would face the top team from the opposite division on the road for the next season and the second-place team from the opposing division at home. Think of a part of the NFL's scheduling format for this example). Division opponents will play each other eight times.
Playoff formatting will consist of a rotation format: Conference A will face off against Conference B for a 'Final Four' match-up, whereas Conference C will face Conference D. The next year, it would be Conference A vs. Conference C and Conference B vs. Conference D. The year after, Conference A would play Conference D, while Conference B would play Conference C. The top two teams of each division get in unless the third place team in one division has a higher point total than the second place team in the opposite division of the conference.
Now that I've gotten the explanations out of the way (phew!), here's how I'd align the divisions and conferences:
New York/New Jersey Division
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