Hockey: Soccer on Speed and With Weapons

I feel like talking sports again this morning.

A league that, unlike the NFL, that I still have a soft spot for.

The National Hockey League is Canada’s league. We have the CFL, of course which is all Canadian (again and for now…look up their American experiment in the early 904), but the six Canadian NHL franchises are the most important teams in this country.

Again, I will separate the league from the sport. We would watch hockey, played well, regardless. We have junior hockey teams that rival some of the southern NHL teams in attendance…except in Toronto where it is the Maple Leafs or nothing.

Next year, the 2011-12 season could be cery interesting. Beyond it potentially being the final full season if the Mayans are correct. However, in that season hockey could be the only game in town as there are potential work stoppages in all three of the other major professional sports leagues in North America…the NBA, MLB and NFL.

Next year will make or break the NHL.

A couple of things, however.

First, there are too many teams. The talent has been diluted with the expansion of the league.

Second, is the square peg round hole debate…or is it round peg square hole? Why are there franchises in places like Phoenix and Raleigh, while places like Winnpeg and Quebec City remain empty?

Were I the god of hockey, here is what I do:

    Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division
Buffalo Sabres
Columbus Blue Jackets
Ottawa Senators
Pittsburgh Penguins
Toronto Maple Leafs
Northeast Division
Boston Bruins
Hartford Whalers – merge Atlanta Thrashers and Carolina Hurricanes and relocate
Montreal Canadians
Quebec Nordiques – merge Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning and relocate
Southeast Division
New Jersey Devils – merge existing Devils with NY Islanders
New York Rangers
Philadelphia Flyers
Washington Capitals

    Western Conference

Central Division
Chicago Blackhawks
Detroit Redwings
Grand Rapids Predators – relocate from Nashville
Minnesota Wild
St. Louis Blues
Northwest Division
Calgary Flames
Edmonton Oilers
Vancouver Canucks
Winnipeg Jets – merge Dallas Stars and Phoenix Coyotes and relocate
Pacific Division
Colorado Avalanche
Los Angeles Kings
San Jose Sharks
Seattle Ducks – relocated from Anaheim

Perhaps the league even requires more than four teams contracted, but this is my first thought on this.

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