Realignment on the horizon - LA Kings Insider

The subject of realignment was brought up again over the weekend as the National Hockey League, in a much less forceful manner than last year, began notifying teams of proposed divisions for the 2013-14 season. I still haven’t seen an update on how the Stanley Cup Playoffs would be constructed – an issue that will also have an effect on whether this latest proposal is successful. Click here for a balanced position by CBC’s Elliotte Friedman.

New Divisional Structure (proposed)
Division A: Washington, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Carolina, New York Rangers, New York Islanders, New Jersey, Columbus
Division B: Boston, Buffalo, Detroit, Florida, Montreal, Ottawa, Tampa Bay, Toronto
Division C: Chicago, Dallas, Colorado, Minnesota, Nashville, St. Louis, Winnipeg
Division D: Los Angeles, Anaheim, Phoenix, San Jose, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton

Following this morning’s skate, Darryl Sutter offered his own opinions on the league’s latest realignment proposal.

“I went through lots of…realignments in 35 years,” Sutter said. “I went through divisions, conferences, unbalanced schedules, unbalanced divisions, unbalanced conferences, so whatever they decide…you’re never going to be happy all the way around because of travel. It’s the way it works. My only issue, quite honest, with what they’re proposing is obviously…borders. It affects border crossings and backs-to-backs and adds a lot of time into your schedule. There’s nothing you can do when you’re on the west coast about time zones, because, hey, half the teams are in another time zone. So those are always the two things for you, are how your travel affects you. Other than that, it’d be nice to be put a little bit of pressure on the east so they’re not in their own bed and jammies all the time. It is. It’s easier for them come playoff time. I’ve coached only in the Western Conference, and the Eastern Conference has an easier path once playoffs start just because of the travel. Hey, Detroit’s always wanted to get over there. It’d be awesome being an old school guy to see Detroit, Toronto, you know, that sort of thing. But you know, we had the old division in Chicago, and there were three of us from the original six, and…it was pretty cool. Detroit, Toronto and Chicago. So that was pretty cool. The heritage guys, the history guys all liked that part of it.”

I also spoke with Dustin Penner about realignment on Sunday, though at the time he hadn’t seen the proposed divisions. Speaking generally, and expressing a desire to be able to play in his home province of Manitoba at least once a year, he said “I think it should be as fair as possible in regards to travel for teams, specifically Detroit, Columbus and Winnipeg. Detroit, probably, and Columbus for that matter, go through a lot of time zones, probably more than any other team during the year.”

I’ll share my own opinions during the second intermission of tonight’s FOX Sports West broadcast. Feel free to share your own in the comments section.

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Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left


Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left


As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right


Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left


Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.