With the major headache of the last few days that has been the possible relocation of the Atlanta Thrashers, one of the topics that has been prevalent in the hockey online world has focused on division and conference realignment. For years now, fans of the Detroit Red Wings, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Nashville Predators have had legitimate complaints about travel and TV broadcast times necessitated by being an eastern based team in the Western Conference.
The three teams and fan bases have a reason to complain about the situation. According to On the Forecheck's very useful NHL Super Schedule, Columbus ranked 9th, Nashville 12th, and Detroit 17th in total distance traveled last year. That isn't as much of an annoyance to the fans as the average game start is, however. Columbus and Detroit are both in the Eastern Time Zone, yet have their road games broadcast locally as late as 10 p.m. on a regular basis which obviously will have a negative effect on television ratings.
SB Nation Detroit makes a compelling argument for why the Red Wings should be the team to switch conferences, but that would involve a complete divisional realignment in the Eastern Conference. The easiest solution for the league would be to move Nashville into the Southeast.
This whole discussion, however, is completely pointless at this time. The last time SB Nation Atlanta reporters checked, there still is a NHL team in Atlanta.