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TRH Gameday 18: Detroit Red Wings - Conference Call

Wednesday, 02.27.2013 / 10:14 AM PT / LA Kings - Game Preview
By The Royal Half
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TRH Gameday 18: Detroit Red Wings - Conference Call
Disclaimer - The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Los Angeles Kings Hockey Club. All opinions expressed by The Royal Half are solely (and most likely) his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Los Angeles Kings or their Hockey Operations staff, parent company, partners, or sponsors. His current whereabouts are not known to the Kings and he has no access to information beyond the access and privileges that go along with being a half-season ticket holder.

Game #18

20 pts
10th in Western Conference
21 pts
8th in Western Conference
7:00pm, Staples Center
Los Angeles, CA
Slava Voynov has broken into the Top 5.
Everyone is talking about NHL Realignment. After several seasons of wonky travel schedules and unbalanced playoff seeding, the NHL is finally trying to fix its conferences and put the best possible product out there for fans. There have been a lot of plans for the new NHL Conferences floated out on the internet, but The Royal Half has obtained the latest concept put forth to a vote by the NHL Board of Governors and the NHLPA. Let's take a look!
It's no secret that Gary Bettman and the NHL Board of Governors want to grow the game of hockey in non-traditional markets across the United States. So what better way to honor the current non-traditional markets than by creating a NHL Conference comprised of those teams!
Many people think the Sun Belt area of the United States earned its nickname because of the lack of labor unions and the prospect of cheap labor that attracted manufacturers to the Southeast in significant numbers after World War II. But this actually isn't correct. No, in fact what we call the Sun Belt today came to be known through the sport of hockey.
Rather it was because Wayne Gretzky refused to wear a belt on the beach.
Every team in this new conference has been affected one way or another by Wayne Gretzky. The Anaheim Ducks, San Jose Sharks, Colorado Avalanche, Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators and Carolina Hurricanes wouldn't exist as NHL franchises had Wayne Gretzky not been traded to the Los Angeles in 1988. And both the Los Angeles Kings and St. Louis Blues share the strongest Wayne Gretzky connection of all... they both were unable to win the Stanley Cup with the world's greatest player. Although the San Jose Sharks did try to make this claim as well.
The Kings may have lost Wayne Gretzky but they gained Craig Johnson and Patrice Tardif.
This is a no-brainer. For years Don Cherry has been lambasting the United States and its lack of Ontario-born citizens. (As well as other countries.) And when it comes to the sport of ice hockey, Don Cherry seems to prefer Canadian based ice hockey teams. So why not make him and the 100s of people that live in Canada happy... by creating an All-Canada Conference!
The best part of this All-Canada Conference is that we've included the Buffalo Sabres... mainly because they are as close as you can get to being Canadian without the funny accent. And just when our neighbors to the north get comfortable with the concept that at least one Canadian team will make the playoffs on a yearly basis... the Sabres will win this Conference and keep those pesky Canadian teams from winning the Stanley Cup... something the Toronto Maple Leafs have been doing successfully since 1967!
It was so long ago they didn't even have colour.
Over a year and a half ago, Detroit Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch was given a promise by Gary Bettman that his franchise would be moving to the Eastern Conference in order to ease the travel pains on the team. Well, here we are in 2013 and Gary Bettman's promise has gone unfulfilled. Since Ilitch is one of the more powerful NHL Owners, the league wants to make sure Mike Ilitch is happy and will continue to support one of the NHL's most decorated franchises. So how does the NHL accomplish that? By moving the Red Wings into a Conference that guarantees playoff revenues each season!
With placing the Detroit Red Wings into a conference with the Columbus Blue Jackets the NHL has now solved one of its biggest realignment issues of the past 10 years. Both the Red Wings and Blue Jackets have complained about the travel involved as a part of the Western Conference... so lets make things easier for them and have their game schedule be based around the 1 hour 5 minute flight between both cities. This Detroit Conference really is a win-win for NHL Traditionalists. The Red Wings make the playoffs each year and the Blue Jackets don't. It's like the NHL hasn't changed a thing!
Let's face it... the NHL is not on the best ground when it comes to its franchises turning a profit. So instead of sweeping it under the table... let's embrace the failure of the NHL and its expansion! 
I think we all know that Contraction is really the answer to what's plaguing the NHL right now. But instead of dealing with the issue of its teams losing money, the NHL will continue to bury its head in the sand and get fans excited about things like... realignment! The beauty of this new Relocation Conference is that the NHL won't have to worry about realigninment once each of the 5 teams in this conference re-locates... as soon as next year
It just works.
To be honest, I was surprised when I found out that a conference comprised solely of teams that are featured on NBC Sports regularly didn't already exist!
Thankfully the NHL is fixing this problem and creating a TV Ratings Super Conference because as we all know, Americans only want to watch Chicago, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, New Jersey, New York (Rangers) and the Boston Bruins. This is particularly great for Los Angeles Kings fans because with all of the national coverage of the Philadelphia Flyers, we'll always be able to see how our formers players are doing.

From various LA Kings players on Twitter in regards to Simon Gagne being traded...
Aww... Willie Mitchell... you truly are a veteran leader.
Ok... stop showing off, Willie. That's enough.


The Royal Half has been a Los Angeles Kings fan since 1988 and a Half-Season Ticket Holder since 2002. He has seen the following goaltenders play in person for the Los Angeles Kings… Kelly Hrudey, Grant Fuhr, Byron Dafoe, Jamie Storr, Stephane Fiset, Felix Potvin, Cristobal Huet, Roman Cechmanek, Mathieu Garon, Adam Hauser, Jason LaBarbera, Barry Brust, Sean Burke, Dan Cloutier, Yutaka Fukufuji, Jean-Sebastien Aubin, Erik Ersberg, Jonathan Bernier and Jonathan Quick. If you like the hockey equivalent of dirty jokes or enjoy humorous screen-grabs of NHL players and broadcasters with funny captions... man, you are going to like The Royal Half. You can follow The Royal Half on Twitter at @TheRoyalHalf