Sunday, July 15, 2007

Lemme Break It Down For Ya!

Last year San Jose played Tampa Bay IN Tampa, about 1 hour from me. I missed that game for one reason or another and thought to myself - I'll just catch them next year. Not sure if you looked at their schedule this year but you probably guessed - NO SHARKS IN FLORIDA!!! I mean come on ... at least the NHL could have had fun marketing those games! "Sharks arrive in Florida looking to tame the Lightning" or "Panthers and Sharks - Florida's 2 arch rivals face off in Sunrise"

Of course that would mean in this $4.9 Billion league someone would have to focus on the whole "how does the rest of the world view our sport." The NHL is by far the most UNDER valued league in the U.S. - I don't want to chase this rabbit anymore ... the main reason for this post is to talk about the whole NHL schedule creation process and the algorithm they use to set the game schedule for the coming season.

Here is the information -


Each club will play eight games against each of its four division rivals (32 total).

Each club will play four games against each of the 10 non-division clubs in its conference (40 total).

Each club will play 10 inter-conference games, hosting one game each against all five clubs from a designated division and traveling for one game each against all five clubs from a different division. For the 2005-06 season, Northeast Division clubs will host the Pacific Division and visit the Northwest; Atlantic Division clubs will host the Northwest and visit the Central; and Southeast Division clubs will host the Central and visit the Pacific. Division vs. division assignments will rotate annually.


The new schedule strengthens division rivalries; division rivals played each other six times under the previous schedule.

The new schedule maintains integrity of the conference-based playoff format; each club continues to play 40 games against non-division, intra-conference opponents.

The new schedule allows for continued exposure of teams and star players from the other conference.

The new schedule allows for more compelling television matchups, thanks to the combination of stronger division rivalries with continued intra- and inter-conference play.

As everything, I think there is room for improvement - I don't know if playing 8 games against each team in your division is to much or just right? I like the idea of having outside conference matchups, get the super stars in the league traveling around and visiting more teams. If you weigh the divisional games to heavy you will have (as you had last year) the super strong divisions and on division that is the ADHD division - which like it or not will have its 1st place team in the top 3 for the conference. I would like to see the NHL take a more inner-conference look at the league and then branch it out to the whole league. If each team could play in each arena ONCE a year that would be Very cool (Yes, I know San Jose would have to host 29 different teams and Visit 29 different arenas) that would leave us at 58 games played ... we still have 24 games left in the season that could be used for Conf/Div play. Maybe 16 division games (you can still get the 4 games per division team here) and 8 Conf games.

OR maybe I just don't have a CLUE as to what this schedule is all about - I just woke up this morning thinking about "what formula does the NHL use to create the game schedule" ... did a little reading, and here I am!!!

So - what are your thoughts on this? Use the comment feature on this post, I would like to see if there could be some discussion on how the NHL picks the games. Next time I'll talk about the lack of attention and the absolute amazing opportunity the NHL has just sitting right in front of them and yet - they will not pay attention!

No comments: