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TSN has reported that the NHL schedule will follow its current format for at least one more year: Eight divisional games, four games against each conference opponent outside the division, and selected teams from the opposite conference, once a season.

The biggest wrinkle seems to involve the last bit -- it's preventing the Western part of North America from seeing Alexander Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby on a regular basis. In fact, as it stands, those on the left coast get the kids once every three years. That's due to the way the schedule rotates for the inter-conference matchups. Say, for example, in Ottawa -- last year, we had San Jose, L.A. and other teams from the Pacific division come to play the Sens at home. This year we have no games against the Pacific division at all, which means next year, the Sens will travel to play the Pacific teams.

But here's where the problem lies in respect to Hockey Day in Canada: Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver are all in the Northwest division. Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal are all in the Northeast division. In 2005-06, the Eastern Canadian teams went on the road to play the Western ones. In 2006-07, it was reversed -- the Western teams came to play the Eastern teams.

Next year should be the season of the "skip" -- the two divisions do not play each other at all. And due to the odd number of teams in each division (three and three), one team will have to go cross-conference in order to facilitate a traditional Hockey Day in Canada.

As I pointed out earlier, next year will be the Northeast division's turn to visit the Pacific division. The Pacific, on the other hand, will head out to Southeast division territory.

So what do you think will happen? Do you think they'll tweak the sched to allow HDIC to occur as usual, or will this schedule of stupidity continue to reign supreme?

1 response to "Status quo means trouble for Hockey Day in Canada?"

  1. If they're smart they make an exception. Why would you want to upset one of your meal tickets?