There’s so much buzz in the air about the Atlanta Thrashers and the possibility of whether or not they’ll move to Winnipeg and become part of the Western Conference. With that possibility in the air we asked you guys about who you’d like to see come to the Eastern Conference to replace them.
With the choices being between the Columbus Blue Jackets, Detroit Red Wings, and Nashville Predators it was between the two eastern most teams in the Western Conference and a team that would blend in perfectly in the Southeast Division given their location in Tennessee. If nothing else, PHT readers are uniform in their approval of having things look appropriate when it comes to the divisional layout.
In an overwhelming vote with over 2,000 responses, 49% of you voted to have the Nashville Predators move to the Eastern Conference and fill the hole left by the Thrashers in the Southeast Division. There they’d form natural new rivalries with Carolina, Tampa Bay, and Florida as well as give the Washington Capitals fits six times a season.
One of the stranger twists is how the next most voted on team was Columbus. Either we’re not read by many Detroit fans or a lot of Red Wings fans are actually happier with their team being in the Western Conference. Our case for Columbus to go east was that it would give them a new lease on life as well as helping them generate loads of new rivalries with teams relatively nearby like Pittsburgh, Buffalo, and Toronto.
Whether or not we’ll actually see any of this happen at all is still in the air. Atlanta Spirit Group and True North are still negotiating a potential sale agreement and there’s talk that if the team does move to Winnipeg they may play a lame duck year in the Southeast Division anyway because they might not be able to realign in time for next season. We’re sure everyone in the division would be really excited about making three long trips to Winnipeg next season. There’s still a lot to get figured out yet, but if realignment does happen this offseason, we’ll be very curious to see how it goes.