What Should the National Hockey League Name Its New Divisions?


Jun 30, 2013; Newark, NJ, USA; NHL commissioner Gary Bettman during the 2013 NHL Draft at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Sometime in the next few days, possibly as soon as Thursday, the National Hockey League will unveil the 2013-2014 schedule.

It is possible that when the schedule is released, we’ll find out what the league has decided to call the new divisions.

Currently, the divisions are simply lettered “A” through “D”. In case you forgot which teams made up which divisions, here is a refresher:

Western Conference

  • Division A: Anaheim, Calgary, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Jose, Vancouver
  • Division B: Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Minnesota, Nashville, St. Louis, Winnipeg

Eastern Conference

  • Division C: Boston, Buffalo, Detroit, Florida, Montreal, Ottawa, Tampa Bay, Toronto
  • Division D: Columbus, Carolina, New Jersey, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington

Of course, we’re going to assume the NHL has more sense than to just leave the divisions named after letters of the alphabet.

Many people assume the league is going to go back to geographic names for the divisions. However, that may not be so easy. Deadspin posted this graphic and story Wednesday showing the challenges of geographic names, especially in the East.

So what should the league do?

My opinion is shared by many old-time hockey fans. It is time to bring back the old division names that the league abandoned in 1993 in favor of geographic names.

Those names would be as follows:

The league cannot go wrong bringing those names back. Those names bring with them so much tradition and history. I can live with leaving the Eastern and Western Conference, but if the league wants to go back to the Prince of Wales and Clarence Campbell Conferences, you would hear no complaints from me.

So that’s what I think. I’ve linked each division name to the Wikipedia entry so you can read the history of each division name.

The question is what do you think? What should the NHL call the four divisions? Vote in our poll below and let us know on Twitter @Unionandblue or @sextonhockey what the names should be.