As NHL Nears Expansion Into Seattle, It Is Time For A Change In Divisions And Game Structure

By Kevin Gesterling | Follow Me on Twitter:

If the NHL goes to 32 teams (which seems likely with Seattle making renovations to KeyArena) I think the NHL needs to make a restructure of its divisions. In my opinion it should be four, 4 team divisions per conference like the NFL has.

This would be good because the schedule would be much more balanced under my proposal.

6 games vs your division, with only 3 other teams in the division you will have 18 games slated for divisional match-ups.

4 games versus non-divisional conference opponents, and with 12 other teams in the conference that means that is 48 games dedicated for non-divisional opponents.

And 1 game per season versus the other conference. This will work out pretty simply, 1 game versus 16 teams from the other conference means it would be 16 inter-conference games.

If we do out the math the season will still be 82 games, but most of the games will now make a direct impact on the standings.

Just to give you a visual of what a schedule would look like lets make a mock schedule for a random team, say St. Louis.

Games Structure

St. Louis Blues Opponents # Games
VS Division 6 vs Chicago, Minnesota, and Nashville 18
VS Conference 4 vs Other 3 Divisions In Conf. (Pacific, NW, SW) 48
VS Other Conference 1 vs Other Conference (All Divisions) 16
Total Games 82

Division Alignment


St. Louis


Anaheim Ducks
Los Angeles Kings
San Jose Sharks
Seattle [To be Announced]


Calgary Flames
Edmonton Oilers
Vancouver Canucks
Winnipeg Jets


Arizona Coyotes
Colorado Avalanche
Dallas Stars
Vegas Golden Knights



Boston Bruins
Montreal Canadiens
Ottawa Senators
Toronto Maple Leafs


Buffalo Sabres
New York Islanders
New York Rangers
New Jersey Devils


Columbus Blue Jackets
Detroit Red Wings
Philadelphia Flyers
Pittsburgh Penguins


Carolina Hurricanes
Florida Panthers
Tampa Bay Lightning
Washington Capitals

Thoughts? Opinions? Am I being stupid here? I don’t think so. I think this has to be the way the NHL goes, it is too perfect of a situation not to do it. Everything lines up perfectly. Short travel distances and more games versus conference opponents means that every game would count. The NHL wouldn’t have to think of logistics when this happens, I did the thinking for them.

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