The latest realignment proposal that’s been making waves across the league doesn’t exactly have everyone feeling giddy about things. Two teams in particular seem to be highly opposed to it because it’s going to make their rivalry almost fade away.
The Flyers and Penguins are both opposed to the latest proposal because it would see the number of meetings these intrastate rivals reduced to just four games a year. That’s something Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, at the very least, is very much against as he told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Dave Molinari.
“There’s such a good [intra-state] rivalry with Philly,” he said. “We need to play each other. We need to keep the battle hot.”
The Penguins are the main team speaking up against this and for them, the new proposal sees them lose the Flyers as a divisional foe and gain Boston, Montreal, Buffalo, Toronto, Ottawa, and Detroit or Columbus. Losing the Rangers, Islanders, Devils, and Flyers makes for a drastic change and one that the Penguins aren’t all that thrilled about.
Although Penguins CEO David Morehouse declined a request to discuss realignment, a team executive, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the franchise has informed the league of its opposition to a plan that would place it and the Flyers in different divisions.
They might be rivals on the ice, but seeing the Penguins and Flyers (to a lesser degree) stick together on this issue it proves that keeping your friends close and your enemies closer even has a place in hockey.