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Intriguing Eklund Article


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Stopped by Eklund's site just now and he wrote something about where he thought the league would be in 20 years.

So let's go to Hockeybuzz.com twenty years from today...(God help me)

NHL Press Release August 11, 2026.

The NHL has finished its latest round of expansion and has now grown to 40 teams. Due to this expansion the following re-alignment will occur starting in the 26-27 season.

The Eastern Conference

The North Eastern Division 1. Boston 2. Buffalo 3. Chicago 4. Columbus 5. Detroit 6. Hamilton 7. Montreal 8. Toronto 9. Ottawa 10. Quebec

The Southeastern Division 1. Atlanta 2. Carolina 3. Florida 4. New Jersey 5. NY Islanders 6. NY Rangers 7. Philadelphia 8. Pittsburgh 9. Tampa 10. Washington

The Western Conference

The Northwestern Division 1. Anaheim 2. Calgary 3. Edmonton 4. Los Angeles 5. Portland 6. San Diego 7. San Jose 8. Seattle 9. Vancouver 10. Winnipeg

The Southwestern Division 1. Colorado 2. Dallas 3. Houston 4. Indianapolis 5. Kansas City 6. Las Vegas 7. Minnesota 8. Nashville 9. Phoenix 10. St. Louis

The new alignment will allow the NHL to grow rivalries based on both history and regional play.

The top 8 teams in each division will make the playoffs and play divisional playoffs, with the division winners playing for the conference championship and then the conference champions will battle it out for the Stanley Cup. The Stanley Cup winner will then play a three game series versus the Winner of the European League and Russian League Championship for the World Cup of Hockey. The WCH Series will alternate being played in North America and overseas from year to year.

Basically as a summary if you don't want to read all that, he has the league expanding to 40 teams with new franchises in Hamilton, Quebec, Portland, San Diego, Seattle, Winnipeg, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City and Las Vegas.

He also has playoffs shortened to 3 rounds and then the Stanley Cup winner plays a 3 game series against the top Euro team where the winner wins the World Cup.

I know it's all a little out in left field and if need be then go ahead and close the topic but I figured this could make for some interesting discussion over here no matter how hated Eklund is.

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I like the idea of adding teams in Hamilton, Quebec and Winnipeg, as well as Vegas and Seatle not too sure about the other markets. However, I'm not too sure I want to wait till the 2026-27 season to implement such additions and changes to the league.

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that would make teams in Portland, Seattle, AND Vancouver? I dont see that happening.

Does he have any teams being moved or contracted? I dont buy the idea that not even one franchise would move in the next 20 yrs.

I don't see a NHL/Euro stanley cup challenge... maybe they would play for something else, but not the cup.

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Like it or not, or believe it or not, the league is going to keep expanding. Its expanded at a steady pace since 1967.... and I can see at least another 6 teams in the league in the next 12-15 years. Las Vegas, Hamilton, Winnipeg, Quebec, Kansas City, and probably Houston or Seattle.

:hlogo:

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that would make teams in Portland, Seattle, AND Vancouver? I dont see that happening.

ditto for toronto, hamilton and buffalo

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Let's move the Leafs to Waco Texas :P

Now, that's interesting.......... :huh:

It probably falls in the same box as a Leaf's fan to move the Canadiens to Santa Fe, New Mexico. :mellow::huh:

Funny... :lol: :lool:

:king: :hlogo: :king:

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that would make teams in Portland, Seattle, AND Vancouver? I dont see that happening.

Does he have any teams being moved or contracted? I dont buy the idea that not even one franchise would move in the next 20 yrs.

I don't see a NHL/Euro stanley cup challenge... maybe they would play for something else, but not the cup.

They wouldn't play for the Stanley Cup, they'd play for the World Cup. The SC winners would remain the SC winners

Like it or not, or believe it or not, the league is going to keep expanding. Its expanded at a steady pace since 1967.... and I can see at least another 6 teams in the league in the next 12-15 years. Las Vegas, Hamilton, Winnipeg, Quebec, Kansas City, and probably Houston or Seattle.

:hlogo:

Same here, I think Eklund is being a little ambitious with 10 teams added in 20 years. I could see adding, like you said, 5 or 6 though.

Interesting article by Eklund. Wow I never thought I would say that.

Me too, Tony. Me too.

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Indiannapolis and Kansas City doesnt have what it takes to support an NHL team IMO

Plus, both Toronto and Buffalo wont ever accept to see a team in Hamilton.

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I've said this before around here but Oklahoma City REALLY, REALLY needs to be considered. Their CHL team gets an amazing amount of support. The Blazers are one of the most succesful minor league teams of all-time and can usually draw 8000-12000 people and have even exceeded NHL teams in terms of attendance on a few occasions.

Ignoring Canadian cities, Oklahoma City would be the first place I'd put a team.

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Only thing thats going to make this bunk is all the Canadian teams in one division. Thats not fair whatsoever.

A scratch that first idea I had instead go to regions

Have a Pacific Northwest Division

Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, Calgary, Edmonton

West Coast

LA, Anahiem, San Jose, San Diego, Sacremento

Southwest

Dallas, Colorado, Vegas, Salt Lake, Phoenix

Plains

Winnipeg, St. Louis, Chicago, Minnesota, Kansas City, Oklahoma City

Rust Belt?

Detroit, Columbus, Indy, Nashville, Cleveland?

New England

Boston, Quebec, Montreal, Hartford, Ottawa

Northeast

Toronto, Hamilton, Buffalo, NYR, NYI

Atlantic

Phili, NJ, Washington, Pittsburgh?

South

Florida, Atlanta, Tampa, Carolina

Gosh this is hard, I ran out of teams.

Or how about two conferences (now this is something they would NEVER ever consider: Have a Confrence of Canadian teams and a confrence of American teams (they'd have to downsize the league first)

Canada is suppose to be around 50 million people by the middle part of this century. With the CBA something like this radical could work.

Vancouver, Victoria?, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon or Regina either or, Winnipeg, Hamilton, Windsor, Toronto, another GTA team?, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec, Halifax another Montreal team? Kelowna, BC? (fastest growing canadian city I believe)

That would make 15 to 16Canadian teams.

Then make 15 american teams (lots of downsizing reason why it won't work)

In order for it to not look lopsided you'd have to cut 10 american teams so that idea is out the window.

But what they should do is go to more regional/legacy divisions and make them smaller like the NFL did with re-alignment.

Edited by Pierre the Great
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this league already has too many teams, i don't see why we should bring some more. i'D like to see teams move but no neew expansion team..please

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Yeah if I had my way I'd basically get rid of the south division except for Tampa and Carolina. Florida and Atlanta are flops. Atlanta the second time around. I'd move them.

Pittsburgh is moving most likely to Kansas City (that won't work, Kansas City has never worked see the royals, kings, athletics I could go on but I won't)

Move Miami to Winterpeg (I've embraced Winterpeg, no more Winnipeg)

Atlanta to Seattle or Portland since one of the two basketball teams (either the Trail Blazers or Sonics are moving).

The problem is don't try to get a new arena especially in Seattle. They are tired of building new stadiums. They feel that yes King Dome had to go but they paid the bill on the two that replaced it and now the city didn't have enough money to pay for the expensive monorail expansion (cost billions) and went to the state and they denied the referendum saying what's in it for us?

So if a team was going to move to Seattle buyer beware don't bring up a new arena or they'll dump you in the Sound.

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winnipeg already has the arena. how I would love to see another team in winterpeg

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winnipeg already has the arena. how I would love to see another team in winterpeg

the MTS Centre is only 15000 seats, that might be a stumbling block for an nhl franchise...

in Seattle, they need a new arena to host a team, the key arena is beyond repair... so it would be the owner's responsibility to build...

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Any more expansion is out of the question. The talent of the league is already so watered down. All expansion would do would be to allow 230 crappy players earn a spot on NHL rosters. Just think, current 3rd line talent would become 2nd line talent, 4th talent would become 3rd line talent, and career AHLers would become 4th line talent. That is not good for the game.

The only part of that article I liked was that Columbus and Montreal would be in the same division.

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Only thing thats going to make this bunk is all the Canadian teams in one division. Thats not fair whatsoever.

A scratch that first idea I had instead go to regions

Have a Pacific Northwest Division

Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, Calgary, Edmonton

West Coast

LA, Anahiem, San Jose, San Diego, Sacremento

Southwest

Dallas, Colorado, Vegas, Salt Lake, Phoenix

Plains

Winnipeg, St. Louis, Chicago, Minnesota, Kansas City, Oklahoma City

Rust Belt?

Detroit, Columbus, Indy, Nashville, Cleveland?

New England

Boston, Quebec, Montreal, Hartford, Ottawa

Northeast

Toronto, Hamilton, Buffalo, NYR, NYI

Atlantic

Phili, NJ, Washington, Pittsburgh?

South

Florida, Atlanta, Tampa, Carolina

Rust belt... that's funny. :lol::lol: :lool: :lool:

Midwest belt would be good too. :)

:king: :hlogo: :king:

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Ok the whole relocating thing is kinda stretch but the re-aligning the divisions got me thinking. What if we have 3 divisions??

Northeast

Montreal, Ottawa, Boston, Toronto, Buffalo, Detroit, Chicago, New Jersey, New York I, New York R

Southeast

Tampa Bay, Florida, Carolina, St. Louis, Columbus, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington, Atlanta, Nashville

West

Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, San Jose, Anaheim, Dallas, Los Angelas, Minnesota, Phoenix, Colorado

You play your own division 4 times = 36 games

You play the other 2 divisions twice each = 40 games

For a total of 76 games

Playoff tree would be the top 16 teams, with the 3 division winners being 1st, 2nd, and 3rd

1st place plays 16th, 2nd plays 15th etc.

I think this method would develop great rivalries within your division during the regular season and the posibility of creating rivalries with other divisions during the playoffs. Plus it's frikin sweet to have all of the origional 6 in the same division!!

What do ya's think??

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Well Detroit would also rekindle some great rivalries with the Habs and Leafs.

Also any team has the ability to play any team from the other divisions any time during the payoffs, and the playoffs is where the Col - Det rivalry started.

Edited by Hawkeye
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It started with Lemieux in 96 but the momentum was kept up during the regular season. Our first game in Detroit after the incident, we were ambushed and THN pointed it out as the worst moment in the history of the franchise. We've had a couple other brawls in the regular season in Detroit as well. They'd just become another playoff series if we only see them twice.

Sorry, I'd still want more then 2 shots at the Red Wings a year. Going for the playoffs is far too uncertain.

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St. Louis would fold as a franchise if it did not have Chicago or Detroit in its division. Thats the two big rivals everyone even if they are not a hockey fan down here cares about. Getting rid of the Blues-Blackhawks-Red Wings rivalry would kill my area.

Now if they put a team in KC and put KC in the Blues division then you'll have a sold out arena in KC whenever STL comes there because for some odd reason that town hates everything about this one. For example the only sell outs the Royals get is when the Cardinals go to KC. If you don't put KC in the blues division the team will move once again.

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St. Louis would fold as a franchise if it did not have Chicago or Detroit in its division. Thats the two big rivals everyone even if they are not a hockey fan down here cares about. Getting rid of the Blues-Blackhawks-Red Wings rivalry would kill my area.

Now if they put a team in KC and put KC in the Blues division then you'll have a sold out arena in KC whenever STL comes there because for some odd reason that town hates everything about this one. For example the only sell outs the Royals get is when the Cardinals go to KC. If you don't put KC in the blues division the team will move once again.

I know that this is about hockey but, a related comment to your baseball examples. I never understood why MLB didn't put the Jays & the Expos in the same division when they did the interleague realignment some 10 years ago. It was one of the options that they considered when they did realign some of the teams.

That may have gone a long ways towards increasing interest in those two cities.

We know that it didn't happen and that the Expos are gone (that's quite sad).

:king: :hlogo: :king:

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