NHL.com/Islanders website announced new conference format that will be in place for the next three seasons.
NYIFC Comments: How poor a format is this for the Eastern Conference, much less the New York Islanders? This is even worse than the CBA that within five years will have 90m dollar payrolls packed with front-loaded contracts with a floor near sixty million that many teams cannot keep up with now that were losing money at fifty million heading into the lockout already.
A sixteen team conference vs one with fourteen, but each conference has eight seeds?
Now if one conference is Southeast-like terrible, they have three automatic playoff spots regardless? Does anyone remember the eighty point Canes getting a division title third seed in 2002, that pushed the ninety six point seeded New York to the 5th seed vs Toronto, and four road losses in round one?
Then add in two wildcard spots.
Under this poor format, it's division playoffs all the way, one conference champion will emerge to play what will likely be the mild, mild west to produce finals that will not be of high interest.
Anything to make Little Ceasars Wings owner, Mike Illitch, lead Amway sponsorship happy with Columbus?
Gary Bettman/BOG/NHLPA never figured out the old 1-16 format that worked until the early eighties was easily the best. Anyone could play for a Stanley Cup or in any playoff series.
Last I looked air travel has improved since that era.
The road for teams not front-loading in the Eastern portion of this poor three year system just got much harder.
The NHL product overall just got much weaker.