Stalberg on NHL realignment: “It seemed kind of weird”

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The theories are flying around like, um… flies…in the wake of the NHLPA’s unwillingness to consent to the NHL’s radical realignment plan.

It was the union flexing its muscles prior to the upcoming CBA negotiations.

No, it was the league forcing the union to reject a proposal that the majority of fans liked, therefore making the union looking like the bad guy prior to the upcoming CBA negotiations.

No, it had nothing to do with the CBA. It’s about two issues – travel and playoff fairness in a realigned NHL – that weren’t adequately addressed by the league for the players.

The fans aren’t the only confused ones. The players are scratching their heads, too.

Blackhawks forward Viktor Stalberg wasn’t sure what to make of realignment from the day it was announced.

“It seemed kind of weird,” Stalberg told “It’s exciting to have a home and home with every team; the fans would appreciate that. But we wanted more info and they didn’t seem to want to provide it for us. Hopefully we can get back to discussing it and figure out something that works for both sides.”

Regardless of why this whole mess came about, realignment is an issue that will be tied to the CBA going forward. You can’t separate them now. Not after all that’s been said and written.

Although it’s half-tempting to wonder if there isn’t a very simple explanation for why the NHL failed to provide the NHLPA with the scheduling information it needed to make a decision.

Be funny if this whole thing came about because some lackey in the league’s schedule-making department was getting his wisdom teeth out last week or something.