Morning Links: The Current Realignment Proposal Sucks

First they take our money, then they take our jerseys. - USA TODAY Sports

In a recent TheLeafsNation poll, Leafs fans were asked what they thought about the current realignment proposal. 67% voted in favor, and they're wrong.

Under the league's leaked realignment memo, the Toronto Maple Leafs end up in a division with lowered playoff chances and terrible travel. The Leafs cater to the Florida Panthers and the Tampa Bay Lightning, who price their tickets low to achieve their dubious 100.3 and 97.2 percent attendance ratings, and, I'm willing to guess, regularly draw higher revenue for games against the northeast than places like Carolina or Columbus. In return, the Leafs get a worse shot at the playoffs than every single Western conference teams. Oh, remember that this "charity" comes on top of the league's revenue sharing.

And hell, as a fan, why am I interested in realignment? Why do I care about a four conference structure, rather than just moving Winnipeg west and Nashville or Columbus to the South East? Dropping the divisional requirement on the playoffs would leave us with a sensible, even playoff structure that doesn't need changing. The league cares about the Detroit Red Wings, but the Leafs shouldn't.

Everything I said applies to the Montreal Canadiens as well. The League's two largest revenue generators are getting milked under the new realignment plan, and there's no reward for them. At some point, Bell and Rogers need to realize that lowered playoff opportunities will hurt their revenue, and flex some financial muscle at the Board of Governors meeting. Jacobs doesn't think Winnipeg gets to talk at the table? Toronto and Montreal should get to shut everyone up.

Resistance from the Leafs' brass might see Bettman assign the team to the Western conference in the future - people seem to have so much fear about his future leverage. As if Toronto would die without an all star game or another winter classic - would that surpass lost playoff revenue under the extra-difficult realignment? I doubt it.

What the Toronto and Montreal should really be pushing for is a definite expansion or contraction plan - there's no reason for realignment to go through with everyone nodding and winking, saying "oh I'm sure they'll expand to even out the conferences." And hell, if the expansion plan involves QC and a second Toronto team, there's no reason to build a division around that coddles Florida. Expansion or contraction, then realignment. Swap Winnipeg and Columbus for the short term.

Here are your links, none of which explain why I should hope for this realignment plan to go through:

The NHL playoff plan for the Maple Leafs
This is when it all fell apart last year for the Maple Leafs; Mirtle's five steps to avoid a similar fate.

Podcast Pilot
Jeffler, Dangle, and Drance are going a video podcast at a bar. It's a decent first effort and features a great story about how Gillis thought he had lost the Sedins before deciding to fly to Sweden at the last second. FUCK.

DiPietro's First AHL Game - Kukla's Korner
Allowed 5 goals on 12 shots. Ouch.

O'Reilly Waiver Issue Open To Interpretation
Eric Macramalla, a lawyer, discusses how he thinks the Flames would have argued against the NHL if their offer sheet was successful.

Systems Analyst: The Jekyll and Hyde of the d-man slide
Breaking down Kadri's first goal against the Islanders and laughing at the Islanders and...talking down Kadri's toe drag?! THIS WILL NOT STAND!

Marlies Hold On To Drew MacIntyre
Man on the scene Jeffler explains the move.

Flames' Statement on ROR
Even if they think it's true that they could have challenged the rule, it is mighty stupid not to clarify with the league first ESPECIALLY since they explicitly allow that.

Ryan O'Reilly offer sheet fiasco: Blame Flames' Jay Feaster, Avs' Greg Sherman, agent
So basically no one associated in any way with hockey knew the rules. Amazing.

O'Reilly Waiver Issue Open To Interpretation
Eric Macramalla, a lawyer, discusses how he thinks the Flames would have argued against the NHL if their offer sheet was successful.

The NHL playoff plan for the Maple Leafs
This is when it all fell apart last year for the Maple Leafs; five steps to avoid a similar fate

Marlies: Joe Colborne Revisited
Scouting report on Colborne's latest run of play from Gus Katsaros.

How I respond to the haters
A funny response from one of the Bleacher Report founders to Will Leitch's earlier article.

Dump any others in the comments. The Leafs don't play this weekend, so maybe take the opportunity to spend a Saturday night with someone other than Joe Bowen.

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