Yes, the title rhymes, big whoop, wanna fight about it??
Anyway, stupid Eric Francis was on last night's Hockey Night in Canada Hot Stove segment (what'd he have to do to get that??) and he said that should the Atlanta Thrasher relocation-- not only would they have three weeks to do it, that the Detroit Red Wings wouldn't be moving to the East because it would take a Board of Governors vote and he claims that they wouldn't be able to do it in time for next season.
First off, stupid Francis doesn't realize this is the NHL-- they can do whatever they want, whenever they want and in as little time as possible. If they want to move the team, they'll have to have a vote on that, right?? Why wouldn't you actually vote on conference change as well?? Moron.
Secondly, I'll never understand why the Red Wings should be in the Eastern Conference. Sure, their fans would love it because the Western Conference is a tough conference, not just in competition, but also because of the fact of the travel isn't that rough. It's much easier for the Wings to have a field day in the East and be in contention every year. However, if the Red Wings leave, you put the Blackhawks as the only Original Six in the West and that rivalry will diminish slightly because of the infrequency of meetings.
For me, and I've said this on here and on The Show, the Columbus Blue Jackets should be moved over to the East. This way, I think they can compete a little better because the Jackets are a young team and follow into the Eastern "style", as it were. Not to mention, they're geographically closer to the Eastern Conference teams than the Red Wings; the fact they would have a hope at a playoff shot, would get the likes of Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby go into their barn more frequently (bringing the people in), and could be more desirable to a player who wants to be in the East, but with a team who has a chance of making the playoffs. The Jackets have a lot of cap room and plenty to build on.
You can read more about the ripple effect this could cause from other aspects on Pro Hockey Talk, but still-- I think if Atlanta moves and Winnipeg is the destination; Columbus goes to the East in the Atlantic, Philadelphia goes to the Southeast; Winnipeg to the Central. Logistically, it makes sense and I think it could very well go off without a hitch, but PHT does tease other things and is worth the read.
In the end, the Red Wings shouldn't be left as the only Eastern Time Zone team in the West, but at the same time; there's so many rivalries they have out West to pick from with the Wings-- it'll take a hit when it comes to Western rivalries.