Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Realignment Not Just For College Hockey


From the get-go, our intent here at B1G Ice Hockey was to discuss the teams and the effect of a Big Ten Hockey Conference realignment. We have discussed the pros and cons and broken down what the change all really meant for NCAA hockey -- and the sport as a whole. It's been proven through time that change is never easy. Adjustment takes time and will be met with plenty of opposition along the way.

That's just the way it is. But it happens and eventually it becomes the norm.

I want to shift gears a bit from college hockey to the NHL after Monday evening's announcement on the new Conference alignment. See, it's everywhere folks--and hey since there are 42 current Big Ten Hockey players that have been drafted into the big leagues since 2008, we can tie that in too.

In case you haven't heard or have been too busy harping on yet another failed BCS championship games (oh SEC I loathe you), the League's Board of Governors approved and announced this past Monday that rather than the current two Conference format, teams would be slotted in to four Conference's to begin as early as next year. A peek at how the Conference's will sit, which have yet to be named:

Conference A: Edmonton, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Jose, Vancouver, Anaheim, Calgary, Colorado
Conference B: Detriot, Minnesota, Nashville, St. Louis, Chicago, Winnipeg, Dallas, Columbus
Conference C: Boston, Buffalo, Florida, Montreal, Ottawa, Tampa Bay, Toronto
Conference D: Carolina, New Jersey, New York Rangers, New York Islanders, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington

The change will pit former foes against eachother, reigniting former rivalries, and will make travel and game times a lot easier on players (and fans) whose time-zone changes have been brought up numerous times throughout the past few seasons.

The same questions were raised as was during the Big Ten's announcement; "What about former rivalries?" "How will this change playoffs?" "I want things to just stay the same!".

But if it's good enough for the NHL--the goal that nearly every one of our favorite college hockey players hold-- why wouldn't it be good enough for NCAA hockey? As always, we will see how things play out when its put in to place, but just like I've said before (and in the words of Sheryl Crow) sometimes "A Change Will Do You Good."

For more on the NHL realignment visit www.NHL.com