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NHL 32 Team Realignment Idea

With the addition of the 32nd team, the Seattle Kraken, entering the league in the 2021-22 season, the NHL will finally have balanced divisions with eight teams in each division. The Seattle Kraken will join the Pacific Division and the Arizona Coyotes will move to the Central Division. However, with an even 32 teams in the league, the NHL should try to get creative and look towards a new division format to help the league in several ways. Here is my proposed NHL Division Realignment:

Eastern Conference

Metropolitan Division: Buffalo Sabres, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, New York Rangers

Atlantic Division: Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs

Great Lakes Division: Columbus Blue Jackets, Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins

Southeast Division: Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals

Western Conference

Central Division: Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Minnesota Wild, Winnipeg Jets

Southwest Division: Arizona Coyotes, Dallas Stars, Nashville Predators, St.Louis Blues

Northwest Division: Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Seattle Kraken, Vancouver Canucks

Pacific Division: Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks, Vegas Golden Knights


Each team will play division opponents six times

Each team will play conference opponents four times

Each team will play opposing conference two times


Top eight teams in each conference make the playoffs and seeding is based on position ( 1vs 8, 2 vs 7, 3 vs 6, 4 vs 5) 

Currently, the NHL has four divisions with eight teams in each division (once Kraken joins the league). However, increasing the number of divisions would help the NHL in growth and revenue. These new proposed divisions highlight rivalries by grouping them together. As rival teams play six times a season as opposed to 4-5 times, the games would be more intense and draw in more fans. Additionally, grouping teams based on locations/rivalries would help the teams save money with the cost of traveling due to closer locations. Altogether, this realignment would be a win-win for the NHL and fans by bringing in more attention with intense games and saving teams money, which is beneficial to the growth of the NHL.

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