19 September 2007
I understand, and agree, that the league should make sure the stars of the game get into every market. It's absurd that Crosby and Ovechkin get to western conference cities only once every three years. The league should make sure they are coming once every other year. The fans in the west deserve a chance to see these stars, and the fans in the east deserve a chance to see the Western Conference teams and stars as well, so I understand this point.
The one thing that the unbalanced schedule has really started to produce is divisional rivalries. Before the schedule took effect the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers really had as much interest to me as the LA Kings or Phoenix Coyotes. I didn't really care what they did in the grand scheme of things.
Now that the unbalanced schedule is here, not only has the emphasis on divisional rivalries caused me to pay attention to the Northwest as a whole, but it makes the fight for that divisional championship more intriguing. The #3, 2, or1 seed in the playoffs is a lot different than the 4,5, and 6, seed. Ask Nashville how much they wish they had the one seed last season.
My idea is to slightly unbalance the season schedule, but keep the emphasis on division rivalries. I like playing against that pansy Dion Phaenuf 8 times a season, it leads to bad blood which leads to him getting his ass kicked the last day of the season in a pointless game. That's good. So every team should play 1 game a season vs someone in the other conference, alternating home and away each season. They should play their division opponents 6 times each (3 home, 3 away). They should play everyone else in the conference twice (h and a) which leaves 3 games left. Each team could then play either 1 team from each division in the other conference whose finish correlates to their own. (for Example the Avs finished 4th in the NW so they'd play Florida, Montreal, and the Islanders one more time).
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