If the NHL goes to 32 teams (which seems likely with Seattle making renovations to KeyArena) I think the NHL needs to make a restructure of its divisions. In my opinion it should be four, 4 team divisions per conference like the NFL has.
This would be good because the schedule would be much more balanced under my proposal.
6 games vs your division, with only 3 other teams in the division you will have 18 games slated for divisional match-ups.
4 games versus non-divisional conference opponents, and with 12 other teams in the conference that means that is 48 games dedicated for non-divisional opponents.
And 1 game per season versus the other conference. This will work out pretty simply, 1 game versus 16 teams from the other conference means it would be 16 inter-conference games.
If we do out the math the season will still be 82 games, but most of the games will now make a direct impact on the standings.
Just to give you a visual of what a schedule would look like lets make a mock schedule for a random team, say St. Louis.
|St. Louis Blues
|VS Division||6 vs Chicago, Minnesota, and Nashville||18|
|VS Conference||4 vs Other 3 Divisions (Pacific, NW, SW)||48|
|VS Inter-Conference||1 vs Other Conference (All Divisions)||16|
The divisions would look something like this:
|Los Angeles Kings|
|San Jose Sharks|
|Seattle [To be Announced]|
|Vegas Golden Knights|
|Toronto Maple Leafs|
|New York Islanders|
|New York Rangers|
|New Jersey Devils|
|Columbus Blue Jackets|
|Detroit Red Wings|
|Tampa Bay Lightning|
Thoughts? Opinions? Am I being stupid here? I don’t think so. I think this has to be the way the NHL goes, it is too perfect of a situation not to do it. Everything lines up perfectly. Short travel distances and more games versus conference opponents means that every game would count. The NHL wouldn’t have to think of logistics when this happens, I did the thinking for them.