The NHL has tabled a proposal to the NHL Players' Association regarding the realignment expected to take place prior to next season.
Under this proposal, the NHL would reconstruct it's six division, five teams per grouping format to a four division format with eight teams in two divisions and seven teams in the other two. The divisions would still create two conferences.
As of Thursday afternoon, the biggest sticking point in the proposal is the reformatted playoff system. The two seven team divisions would be in the Western Conference, while the two eight team divisions would be in the Eastern Conference. This would create unbalanced odds for team's chances to make the playoffs, dependent upon what conference they are in.
However, there is a bigger issue with the reformatted divisions.
Their proposed names make no sense.
According to previous reports, the division names will be the Atlantic, Central, Midwest and Pacific. Besides being boring, the names are also inaccurate.
As it currently stands, the Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs will comprise the "Central Division." Problem? Those teams aren't located near the center of the continent.
Lucic on NHL realignment: "Need new names. We're called Central [division]right now & U can see the Atlantic walking out of the (Garden)"— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) February 28, 2013
When the concept of realignment was first introduced, many began speculating that the NHL would revert to naming the groupings after historical figures like Gretzky or Lemieux. Instead, the proposal contains geographical identifiers that don't properly identify the geography their teams reside.
Not only would historical-based division names add some character to the groupings, it would be a unique homage to the game's past.
It would also eliminate the stupid names in the proposal.
What would you name the four divisions? Are you okay with the current names or do you want to call them something else?