During last years realignment debate several things became apparent. Some of them are league needs, some are player needs and some are fan and or team needs.
- Realignment needs to preserve as many major rivalries as possible.
- Travel should be as equal as possible given the concentration of teams.
- Every team should have a mathematically equal shot at a division title.
- Every team should play every team.
- Care should be taken so that teams with growing markets have the best footing possible without cutting the legs off the established teams.
That said, the three by ten model is the most logical for all those reasons and more. With five division winners in each conference every team should be in the chase each season. More titles means more division championship t-shirts, hats and other merchandise. A schedule that include a home and away date between all thirty teams also means teams like Phoenix and Columbus will see Crosby yearly, the Carolina Hurricanes will host the Vancouver Canucks and Los Angeles Kings
- Three team divisions
- Five divisions per conference
- 8 games against the other two teams in your division for a total of 16
- 3 games against the other 12 teams in your conference for a total of 36
- 2 games against the 15 teams in the other conference for a total of 30.
- Same 82 game schedule length.
Yes three games against conference rivals means one home and two away some years and the reverse the other. Ideally two division pairings would alternate year by year so schedule maker, fans and media can have a decent idea of what to plan for each season even before the official schedule is released.
- California: Sharks, Kings, Ducks
- Mountain: Avalanche, Coyotes, Stars
- Canada West: Flames, Oilers, Canucks
- Plains: Jets, Wild, Blues
- Lakes: Blackhawks, Red Wings, Predators
- Southeast: Panthers, Lightning, Hurricanes
- Appalachian: Blue Jackets, Penguins, Flyers
- Eastern Interior: Capitals, Maple Leafs , Sabres
- Metro: Rangers, Islanders, Devils
- Northeast: Senators, Bruins, Canadiens
An argument can be made for flipping the Senators and Leafs based on how much the teams have show they are willing to spend over the last few years, but geographically this puts Washington’s two division rivals as close as can be without putting them into a division with the Flyers and Penguins. There is also the argument that the Red Wings should be moving east and not the Blue Jackets. For that I’ll point out the west needs the Wings as a draw to small market teams. Columbus is also at the end of a highway from Pittsburgh and driving to and from there, giving it a rival within easy driving distance.