Earlier today, the National Hockey League Players Association addressed the proposal for the new four conference realignment. What would have been a good move for the NHL and would have reduced long distance traveling amongst the current two conferences, the NHLPA agreed to deny the proposal of new four conferences.
“It is unfortunate that the NHLPA has unreasonably refused to approve a plan that an overwhelming majority of our clubs voted to support, and that has received such widespread support from our fans and other members of the hockey community, including players,” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said.
This decision will not only affect the players and teams, but inevitably the fans as well. With the Nashville Predators, for instance, it is almost inconceivable for a fan in Nashville to fly to Vancouver, buy tickets, find boarding accommodations, and whatnot. It’s not impossible, but it’s not plausible compared to only be in a conference with teams like Columbus, Chicago, and St. Louis, which are all in reasonable driving distances.
Rumors of a lockout and other disasters have been running amuck, but only time will tell as to what will play out with this decision. You can read the official press release from the NHLPA here.
As a fan, we think this is a terrible, terrible decision. As much as it would have been a change (with the Predators not facing Vancouver or Anaheim nearly as much), it was in the best interest for all teams, not just the Nashville Predators. As more becomes available, we will be quick to add it to this post.