I was daydreaming this afternoon, while sitting in a long meeting that had nothing to do with me, and started thinking about what realignment would look like if the Networks had a major say in it. I think they would break it up into 2 conferences, with 2 divisions in each. The schedule would be set so that teams would play each division opponent at least 7 times, and opponents in the other division in their conference at least 4 times. They would then play a maximum of 12 games against teams in the other conference. The top 8 teams in each conference make the 16 team playoff tournament, and are seeded 1-16 to increase the odds that Philadelphia, NYR, Boston and Pittsburgh all make the semi-finals.
CONFERENCE 1: "TEAMS WE LOVE TO TELEVISE"
CONFERENCE 2: "TEAMS WE ONLY TELEVISE WHEN PLAYING THE OTHER CONFERENCE"
SOMEWHAT TRADITIONAL MARKETS DIVISION
Carolina Hurricanes (Flip with Anaheim when Staal is traded)
AVOID AT ALL COSTS DIVISION