Hockey fans have already started their countdowns to the 2013-2014 season, and are continuously watching for news and updates to tie them over until puck drop in October. One aspect of next season that has kept fans both busy and entertained has been the NHL realignment. The new look NHL will feature four divisions that are divided into two conferences, the Pacific and Central Division make up the Western Conference while the Metropolitan and Atlantic Divisions make up the Eastern Conference.
So with the NHL’s new makeup the Kings now have some new divisional opponents. Along with the San Jose Sharks, Anaheim Ducks, and Phoenix Coyotes, the Pacific Division now hosts the Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames. The only team that left the Division was the Dallas Stars who are now a part of the Central Division.
So with this change the Kings inherited an always competitive Canucks team and two often mediocre Flames and Oilers teams. Lets take a look at what exactly this means for the Kings.
First off, the Kings are going to get a lot more familiar with the Canucks. The two teams have a bit of a past and that was without them playing in the same conference. This stemmed the feeling, “God I’m happy we only have to play these guys so many times,” amongst Kings fan. Now the Kings will have to duke it out with the Canucks for the Division crown during the regular season and will likely continue their playoff drama with Vancouver.
Ugh, and those stupid Green Men.
Also, the Kings have acquired a little more star power in their Division. Before the realignment the Pacific Division was there but there was not too much star power. We had Joe Thornton, Corey Perry, and well ummm… yea. That goes to show the level of high profile players the Pacific Division had.
Now the Pacific house Henrik and Daniel Sedin, Roberto Luongo, Taylo Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkin, Nail Yakupov, and well I mean the Flames shipped out all of their big names. The Pacific Division always seemed to be left in the shadows of other Divisions will big name players and storied pasts. Maybe now it will get some limelight.
Finally, there is a whole lot of Canada headed or way. All three of the teams added to the Pacific Division are based in Canada and we lost the NHL’s only team in Texas. Thats like clearing out America and bringing in all the maple syrup you can find. So this means the Kings are likely going to be subject to at least one Don Cherry rant this season.
God forbid Dustin Brown hit one of Cherry’s coveted Canadian boys, or Slava Voynov go over the top on a celebration. If any of that happens were a sure to feel the wrath of Cherry and his over dressed costumes.