Now that the 2012-2013 season is over, it’s time to start looking forward to the 2013-2014 season, and it’s impossible to do without recognizing how different the league will be next year.
Perhaps the most significant change to come about with the league’s realignment is the separation of Dallas from the Pacific Coast and the California teams that have become beloved rivals since the team joined the Pacific Division 15 years ago. Leaving the rivalries behind also means leaving behind the string of co-division play late-night starts. And for most Dallas fans, that’s definitely not a bad thing.
Another point of contention is the transition of the Detroit Red Wings to the Eastern Conference. While the two teams won’t face each other as often as they have with both holding spots in the Western Conference, the far-flung idea of a Detroit-Dallas Stanley Cup playoff battle is positively bewitching.
Playoff setup will also change next season. Instead of the top eight teams in each conference heading straight to the battle for Lord Stanley, the top three teams in each of the new four divisions will make up the top 12 positions. The remaining four spots will be comprised of the two teams in each conference with the next-highest regular-season point total, regardless of division. And that’s just getting to the playoffs; figuring wild card placement and which team will play who when is another story.
For more information, and some interesting graphics outlining how the new league will look, click here.
And now we want to hear from you. What do you think this new setup will bring for Dallas?