TSN: Reporting On Winnipeg’s NHL Club Staying In SE Division For One Season: 05/17/11

Speculation has been rampant for some time about the details surrounding the NHL’s possible return to Winnipeg. What would the relocated team be called? How would the uniforms look? When would the first home game be? With buzz picking up this week that the owners of the Atlanta Thrashers are in talks to sell their franchise to Winnipeg-based True North Sports and Entertainment, a lot of hockey fans are already wondering what division the Jets/Moose/whatever would play in next season if the sale and subsequent move go through. Here are a few ideas, based on various reports, Twitter chatter and our own research. As an aid, consult this map of current NHL team locations. A Winnipeg team would, of course, be horribly misplaced in the Southeast Division — Atlanta’s current home. The easiest fix seems to be a three-stepper: move Winnipeg from the Southeast to the Northwest (with Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Colorado), move Minnesota from the Northwest to the Central (with Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis and Columbus) and move Nashville from the Central to the Southeast (with Washington, Tampa Bay, Carolina and Florida). This plan preserves the 15-15 balance of teams between the Eastern and Western Conferences (Winnipeg/Atlanta shifts from the East to the West, Nashville from the West to the East, and Minnesota stays in the West). It also increases the number of Canadian-based teams in the Northwest to four, adding fuel to the existing blaze of hockey-hotbed rivalries in that
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