Detroit Red Wings To The East - Commentary Assignment
A lot of people are still huffing and puffing about the newest realignment of the NHL, sending the Detroit Red Wings and the Columbus Blue Jackets to the Eastern Conference. I can understand why some teams such as the Phoenix Coyotes and Chicago Blackhawks would be upset, Phoenix being that three-fourths of the fans at Red Wings/ Coyotes games are Red Wings fans and it’s probably the only time they sell out, and also the Blackhawks because that’s a natural rivalry AND because it leaves the Hawks as the only Original Six team left in the West, but the move had to happen.
For starters, my personal reason starts because I’m from Detroit and I remember staying up until ten o’clock at night waiting for the Wing’s and whatever west coast team game to START and it wouldn’t FINISH until the early morning- and that was if it didn’t go into overtime! Detroit and Columbus are the only Eastern Time Zoned, Western Conference Team. It didn’t make any sense.
The second, and most logical reason, this should probably be before my own personal motives, but the move of Atlanta to Winnipeg meant that a change HAD to happen. Winnipeg couldn’t continue to compete in the Southeast Division in the Eastern Conference, playing teams like Carolina, Florida, Tampa Bay and Washington. Their travel distance to play an away game against the Florida Panthers, who are located in Miami, FL, is two thousand two hundred and forty two miles. In 2012, the Jets played the Panthers three games at Florida and 3 games in Winnipeg. That’s just over thirteen THOUSAND miles traveled. A little absurd if you ask me.
Okay, so one team HAD to move to even out the sides, but why two? Simple: opens up the possibility for 2 expansion teams in the west! With the hype for a basketball team back in Seattle, I could see a good fit for a team there and why not another team in Salt Lake City?
This was a decision that was a long time coming and as a Red Wing fan, I am glad to see it finally happen!