Phoenix has only one comeback for why there should be a franchise in Glendale.. and here it is:
Yes those are cacti, in Marana, AZ, And that was south of Phoenix! Can you imagine the blizzard they were having up north in Phoenix?! And if you don’t know your geography, Glendale is even further north of Phoenix, talk about a winter wonderland! Well since I’m here cracking on the Coyotes, we might as well just hop right into it and talk realignment. The NHL has been hard pressed to realign the current NHL divisions ever since those pesky thrashers moved up to Winnipeg (I couldn’t have been happier). This is the NHL’s proposed realignment…
Group A: Ducks, Flames, Kings, Coyotes, Avalanche, Oilers, Sharks, Canucks
Group B: Jets, Blues, Predators, Wild, Blackhawks, Red Wings, Blue jackets, Stars
Group C: Sabres, Senators, Maple Leafs, Habs, Bruins, Lightning, Panthers
Group D: Capitals, Hurricanes, Flyers, Islanders, Devils, Penguins, Rangers
Well.. if group C isn’t a cluster F&%$ I don’t know what is. The NHL doesn’t want to break up rivalries in a division, specifically the Flyers Penguins rivalry.. And by moving the Penguins into the same division as the Capitals tells me one thing.. This realignment of divisions is based on seeing two of the best players play each other six times a year, to try and boost ratings since they just locked everyone out.
The Thrashers move to Winnipeg really doesn’t make things too difficult to realign to be honest.. but if you ask me it looks like the head of the NHL board of governors let their kid draw up a realignment map.
What makes realignment difficult is the distance a team has to travel, especially in the west when they’re playing divisional opponents that are a 2-3 hour plane ride away. You can thank Bettman for that, I’ve never seen someone so hot in the pants to move the NHL down south. With the exception of a few teams.. who has REALLY been that successful? Panthers : No. Sharks: No. Phoenix: No. Nashville: No. Phoenix and the Panthers should lose their right to have a team. I can make an argument about Tampa Bay, but with the product they put on the ice each year, its hard to make a case against them, oh and they’ve won a cup. Dallas, Anaheim, and Los Angles have also won a cup. Both Phoenix and the Panthers have such a HARD time drawing people to watch games its ridiculous. For instance Phoenix just posted a new GOALden ticket plan:
The packages are in the lower level, which are usually priced at $75 per ticket. To be considered “golden”, the first plan starts at $100.
According to the Coyotes, A fan will receive five goals on their GOALden Ticket. Beginning on March 9 versus the Dallas Stars, fans will be able to see up to 10 Coyotes home games until the team gives up five goals at Jobing.com Arena. Once that happens, the GOALden Ticket is void.
That is pathetic. A ticket plan to sit in the lower level of a hockey area starting at $100 dollars, you can’t even sit mid level at MSG west (prudential center) for $100, and that’s saying something; and they’re giving out up to TEN GAMES for that until the ‘yotes give up 5 goals. Sorry they gotta go. The city of Glendale doesn’t appreciate them, and haven’t since Roenick and Tkachuk.
Before I start getting angry.. here’s my proposed realignment.
Northwest: Wild, Jets, Flames, Oilers, Canucks
Pacific: Ducks, Kings, Sharks, Coyotes, Avalanche
Central: Blackhawks, Redwings, Blues, Bluejackets, Stars
Northeast: Bruins, Habs, Leafs, Sabres, Senators
Atlantic: Devils, Rangers, Islanders, Flyers, Penguins
Southeast: Predators, Caps, Hurricanes, Lightning, Panthers
You could even swap the Bluejackets and Predators if you want, I just figured adding a semi-talented western conference team to a mediocre division would maybe give it some life. With the previous realignment, you also have room for expansion, or if a franchise, cough Phoenix cough Florida decide to move I dunno.. say Quebec City, or Seattle, or Kansas city, Hamilton, hell even Vegas, you’ll still have an even amount of teams in each conference. Say a team moves to Quebec city, you could instantly throw them in the north east division. Say a team moves to Seattle (serious possibility if they can lure the NBA’s supersonics to their proposed new arena), you could put them right in the north west division. How bout Seattle, Kansas city get a team.. and there’s 2 other expansion teams in Hamilton, and Quebec city? Throw Seattle in the Northwest, Kansas city in the Central. Quebec city goes to the Northeast with Hamilton, and you move Buffalo or Boston (considering they’re on the coast..) to the Atlantic division.
It’s not difficult, but when you’re as lazy as most of the employees of the NHL are (case and point.. this years NHL lockout waited until the day camps were supposed to open to start negotiating), you’d have a tough time figuring this out too. Regardless of how the realignment happens, I think we can all agree that the Phoenix Coyotes, and Florida Panthers need to figure out a way to start selling tickets, especially Phoenix, or they need to make a move elsewhere.