Red Wings

The only thing lost in the Wings’ anticipated move to the Eastern Conference

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The NHL’s realignment plan, which is all but certain to happen it seems at this point features everything that Red Wings fans and the organization has been hoping for.

For the fans it’s the renewed rivalry with fellow Original Six teams in Toronto, Montreal and Boston while the team itself will surely enjoy the reduced travel schedule. Not to mention we’ll all benefit from not having to watch those 10:30PM playoff starts when the Wings are on the west coast.

However tt’s not completely perfect for the fans.

This past Sunday we as Red Wings fans were reminded just how much hatred we have for the Chicago Blackhawks, which in sports is a good thing. Sunday’s Detroit/Chicago match-up was every bit a playoff game in early March as both teams had goaltenders standing on their heads, defensemen blocking shots like no other and offensive pressure that left fans on the edge of their seats. It’s that natural rivalry that developed after so many years of the Wings being forced to endure a forced rivalry with Columbus and Nashville.

Unfortunately the renewed Detroit/Chicago rivalry came too late.

With the Wings’ anticipated jump to a newly realigned Eastern Conference, the Chicago Blackhawks unfortunately will be left behind in the West within a division containing Colorado, Dallas, Minnesota, St. Louis and Winnipeg. The Wings on the other hand get a much better deal rivalry-wise with Boston, Buffalo, Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, Florida and Steve Yzerman’s Tampa Bay Lightning.

Now there’s also no telling how the games will be divided up within the division, conference and out of conference but it’s a foregone conclusion that the Wings and Blackhawks probably won’t see each other nearly as much as they have in the past.

Don’t me wrong though. I love the new realignment as a Red Wings fan and personally can’t wait for next season’s changes. Hopefully though the League takes note of this renewed Detroit/Chicago rivalry since it would seem Sunday’s game is a patch to more lucrative television deals.

Pacific Division
Anaheim
Calgary
Edmonton
Los Angeles
Phoenix
San Jose
Vancouver
Mid-West Division
Chicago
Colorado
Dallas
Minnesota
Nashville
St. Louis
Winnipeg
Central Division
Boston
Buffalo
Detroit
Florida
Montreal
Ottawa
Tampa Bay
Toronto
Atlantic Division
Carolina
Columbus
New Jersey
New York Islanders
New York Rangers
Philadelphia
Pittsburgh
Washington

h/t: CBS Sports, ESPN

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