Thursday, October 12, 2017

Colorado Eagles Set to Join Texas Stars' Division, or Are They?

(Credit: Texas Stars)
The Texas Stars have a new foe in the AHL coming next season. In case you missed it, earlier this week the league announced that the Colorado Eagles will be moving up from the ECHL into the AHL, matching the 31 teams in the NHL.

The Colorado Eagles will be affiliated with the Colorado Avalanche starting next season. That will end the short-lived saga of the St. Louis Blues multiple assignment homes for their AHL players.

Texas plays in the Pacific Division this year and now the question exists of whether they will still play there next season. Further, the question also should be asked of how many games the Eagles will play in the AHL.

If you assume Colorado plays only 68 games as their fellow newcomers to the league have done, then you can start to see the argument for a Pacific Division that consists only of teams playing 68 games. That division would be comprised of seven teams:
  • Bakersfield
  • Colorado
  • Ontario
  • San Diego
  • San Jose
  • Stockton
  • Tucson
So where does that leave the Texas Stars?

Well, for better or worse, the Stars are a package deal with the Rampage. Unless Colorado gets added to the Central Division (balancing at eight each), there will be a division with nine teams.

Nine teams!

OK, maybe that doesn't make sense. Ideally, we'd be looking at 8-8-8-7 alignment. The Central Division is pretty tightly clustered aside from Manitoba and Cleveland. Here's my proposal.

Atlantic Division (8 teams, no changes)
Charlotte
Providence
Lehigh Valley
Hartford
Bridgeport
Springfield
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
Hershey

North Division (8 teams, adding Cleveland)
Laval
Rochester
Toronto
Binghamton
Syracuse
Utica
Belleville
Cleveland

Central Division (8 teams, adding Texas and San Antonio)
Rockford
Milwaukee
Manitoba
Grand Rapids
Chicago
Iowa
Texas
San Antonio


Pacific Division (7 teams, only playing 68 games; add Colorado)
San Jose
San Diego
Colorado
Ontario
Bakersfield
Stockton
Tucson

What do you think?

5 comments:

  1. I like it. Still leaves the league with the stupid points percentage, but at least that division will be fair.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And, if the divisional playoff format is maintained, you're guaranteed that only one team with 68 games will make the playoffs and everyone will be playing against their own ilk on the games-played counter.

      Delete
  2. I thought to limit travel expense was main reason for the 68 game schedule. Based on your alignment, their travel would be limited so why not everyone play the same number of games?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do not believe that strictly travel was the deal. The deal was less games, less wear & tear, more practice!

      Delete
    2. California is *special*. That's why.

      Delete

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