While I'm quoting TSN.ca, lets get to this blogger's question....

From TSN.ca - NHL Mailbag

Scott -- Last thing that might be on people's minds right now with the trade deadline, the playoff chase, the Presidents Trophy duel, playoff seedings, team rebuildings, labor issues and the like. Should the NHL realign again and nix the East / West alignment? Hear me out... Some of the teams that are stashed in the west are anything but (Columbus a part of the west? Detroit? Chicago? Usually one considers the west being the left side of the Mississippi river... Not just that, but the ultra-regional alignment (northeast, southeast) ends up leading to a load of trashing of fans in the south (because, lets face it, the Southeast division is a joke even if it hosts one of the best teams in the league with the Lightning). Wouldn't it be better to mix up the markets a bit and have two conferences of East-Central-West divisions? This might hurt some rivalries in the short run with how realignment turns out, but in the long run it could foster some great rivalries between teams we wouldn't even consider rivals now. John Fontana, Palm Harbor, Florida

John, there is merit to the idea from a pure hockey sense, because I certainly agree that lumping substandard teams in the Southeast isn't exactly the best way to promote hockey to new markets. On the other hand, and it's guaranteed we'll get sick and it's guaranteed we'll get sick of hearing this before 2004 is out, hockey is a business and the owners like having geographically-aligned divisions because it cuts down on travel costs. The loser in the equation becomes the fan who wants to see players in the opposing conference, while the fan who likes the geographic rivalries (Montreal-Toronto and Ottawa-Toronto are pretty big around these parts as I would imagine Florida-Tampa Bay might be where you are, even with the limited history of the two teams). Since I can't even fathom a situation in which the owners would agree to something that increases their expenses, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for realignment if I were you. - SC
SO much as for me making my post regarding needing NHL realignment :tongue