Wings Need to Move East
There isn't a whole lot to say about the way the second round is going for the Detroit Red Wings this year (see last year), so we'll save that for when their run is finished. But an issue that keeps popping up is the Red Wings moving to the Eastern Conference.
While there are a bunch of reasons that Red Wings fans welcome this change, there are a few main points that hammer home the debate.
1. Western Timezone
The Wings play a lot of games in Edmonton, Anaheim, Vancouver, San Jose, Phoenix, Calgary and Colorado. The problem with that is they are all three hours behind the time in Detroit! All those games start at around 10:30 pm in Detroit, which is a problem for a lot of Detroit fans. As a kid I remember the games used to be on Fox 2 or UPN 50, but all the road games were so late. I was never allowed to watch them. Why would that change for kids now? It may affect the way kids choose their favourite teams, with all the Leafs, Habs and East coast teams being in the same time frame, a lot of kids, and even adults, for that matter are more comfortable watching those games compared to a 10:30 Wings road game against a team from the dessert or a beach. Bottom line is that the Leafs are in the East, why not Detroit?
As stated above, the Wings travel probably the furthest out of any NHL team, although the rest of the Central Division may suffer as well (mainly Columbus and Nashville). When you have a trip to Colorado, back to Detroit, out to Dallas, to Vancouver, to Detroit, and so on, it really wears on a team. Compare that to a team like the Rangers: go to the island, come home, go to Pittsburgh, Philly, Carolina, Boston, Toronto. Those teams are all close together. It only makes sense to count in Detroit. If anything, have every team play each team the same number of times.
Does Detroit really have a rivalry with anyone? Chicago, maybe, but they've only met in the playoffs once in the last ten or so years in 2009, so how can a legit rivalry be started? The rivalry with Colorado was because of the Claude Lemieux incident, but the playoff matchups year after year were where it was at. Imagine Detroit playing Pittsburgh or Toronto in the playoffs, it would be unreal. If Bettman wants rivalries, this is the way to go.
So why won;'t they move? Well, for one thing, Bettman is still the commissioner. Who knows what that brainiac is thinking. It can only be assumed that it's because of the fact that people are drawn to games when Detroit, an Original Six team, is in Anaheim or San Jose. Just watch a Coyotes-Wings game in Phoenix; half the crowd is Wings fans.
At the moment, it could be argued that the Eastern Conference is a little bit weaker than the West (if Don Cherry agrees it has to be true), but we can't factor that in because all teams' talent changes all the time. maybe, as a Red Wings fan, I'm being selfish, but fans would be able to see a whole lot more games, and they would see more games against old teams like Philly, Boston, Toronto, Montreal and Washington.
Call me biased but that's what all Wings fans should want.