An addition to my earlier-posted realignment where there are 10 divisions of 3:
Reduce the regular season to 60 games. Each team plays every other team once at home and once away.
That makes 58 games. In theory, this makes the travel burden a lot more for Eastern clubs, and so puts their travel amount closer to what Western teams have to endure.
And then, to wrap up the regular season in dramatic fashion - a way that I believe will be attractive to American audiences...
"NHL Bowl Week ©"
Yes, you heard it here first, folks. ALL 30 TEAMS
get to play in an outdoor stadium - once as a guest, and once as a host, against two of their greatest rivals.
Here's the breakdown:
Group 1: Great Lakes
Buffalo Wings Bowl, sponsored by Buffalo Wild Wings - Buffalo hosts Toronto at Ralph Wilson Stadium
Trillium Bowl - Toronto hosts Detroit at BMO Field or
Motor Bowl - Detroit hosts Buffalo at Michigan Stadium or
Comerica Park or
Ford Field or
my personal favourite, the Pontiac Silverdome
Group 2: Northwest
Whale Bowl - Vancouver hosts Calgary at BC Place
Encana Bowl - Calgary hosts Edmonton at McMahon Stadium
Rexall Bowl - Edmonton hosts Vancouver at Commonwealth Stadium
Group 3: California
California Bowl - Anaheim hosts Los Angeles at Mount Baldy Ski Resort, California
Fish Bowl - San Jose hosts Anaheim at the Badger Pass Ski Resort, California
Golden Bowl - Los Angeles hosts San Jose at Mount Baldy
Group 4: Southern
Busch Bowl sponsored by Budweiser - St Louis vs Nashville at Busch Stadium
Tomato Bowl - Nashville vs Columbus at Volunteer Stadium *(tomatoes are the state fruit of Tennessee)
Buckeye Bowl - Columbus vs St Louis at Buckeye Stadium
Group 5: Central
Bomber Bowl - Jets vs Wild - Bombers Stadium
Gopher Bowl - Wild vs Blackhawks - TCF Bank Stadium, U of Minnesota
Wrigley Bowl - Blackhawks vs Jets - Wrigley Field
Group 6: Mountain/Desert
Oasis Bowl - Phoenix vs Dallas - Sunrise Park Ski Resort, Arizona
Cowboy Bowl - Dallas vs Colorado - Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, TX
Buffalo Bowl- Colorado vs Phoenix - Folsom Field (home of the Colorado Buffaloes), Boulder, Colorado
Group 7: Northeast
Green Monster Bowl - Boston vs Montreal, Fenway Park
Boule Olympique - Montreal vs Ottawa, Stade Olympique
National/Canada Bowl - Ottawa vs Boston, Frank Clair Stadium
Group 8: Metro
Yankee Bowl - Rangers vs Islanders, Yankee Stadium
Big Apple Bowl - Islanders vs Devils, Citi Field
Swamp Bowl - Devils vs Rangers, Meadowlands Stadium
Group 9: Atlantic
Keystone Bowl - Philadelphia vs Pittsburgh from Penn State
Liberty Bell Bowl - Pittsburgh vs Washington from Penn State
Federal Bowl - Philadelphia vs Washington from RFK Stadium
Group 10: Tropical
Carolina Blue Bowl - Carolina vs Tampa from Appalachian State University - Boone, North Carolina
Bama Bowl - Tampa vs Florida from Cheaha Mountain, Alabama
Jamaica Bowl - Florida vs Carolina from Blue Mountain Peak, Jamaica
**Away opponents could of course be rotated from season to season to keep things interesting.**
Now I realize that you are probably thinking - a 60 game season? There is no way that any NHL owner would want to cut out 11 home dates from their schedule.
I have a solution to that as well. You know how HC Davos hosts the Spengler Cup each year? Every NHL club could do the same, whether they prefer to do so before or after the regular season.
Here's an example I came up with.
PENNSYLVANIA KEYSTONE CUP - hosted by Penn State University
Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Penn State Nittany Lions, Pitt Panthers, Robert Morris Colonials, Mercyhurst Lakers
Each team plays all five opponents. Top two teams play for championship - third and fourth-ranked teams play for bronze.
Winners of the Keystone Cup receive 25%
of net revenues raised, and their name engraved on the Keystone Cup.
Second place gets 22%
of revenues (47%)
Third place gets 18%
of revenues (65%)
Fourth place gets 14%
of revenues (79%)
Fifth place gets 11%
of revenues (90%)
Sixth place gets 10%
of revenues (100%)
Now, I can almost guarantee that we would see the two NHL clubs play for the championship most years, but the incentive payout for the university clubs is there as well - sort of like how NCAA teams get big payouts to travel and get demolished by playing in the big football programs' stadiums.
Edited by Magnus, May 11, 2013 - 11:53.