Flyers React To NHL Realignment

6 Dec

VOORHEES, N.J. — Some Flyers were on top of the news. Others needed to be informed after practice. Next year, the Flyers’ schedule will look a lot different and so will the standings.

The NHL Board of Governors voted a new alignment on Monday night that adds the Washington Capitals and Carolina Hurricanes to the Flyers’ division. Right now it’s known as “Division D,” but that, along with a few more details, has yet to be determined. But from what they know now, the Flyers are excited about the prospect of realignment.

“It’s gonna be different, but it’s gonna be good,” said Max Talbot. “I’m glad that they were able to keep most of the same rivalries in the same conference or divisions. I think it’s gonna be a little bit more traveling for the Eastern Conference teams, a little bit less for the Western.

“Just looking at the votes, the way the owners and the GMs voted, 26-4 I think, it means it was probably the best they could do. It’s gonna be interesting.”

The schedule format will be that teams will play every conference opponent six times and play every non-conference team twice, home-and-home. When that was explained to Ilya Bryzgalov, his first reaction was about the road games.

“You know what, man? That’s much more travel,” said Bryzgalov. “Damn, man.”

It will be more travel, but right now the Flyers have it the easiest in terms of travel for any team in the NHL.

“Obviously if we add more travel, it’s going to be hard,” added Kimmo Timonen. “Because our travel now, it’s really good. But whatever they do, they do. It’s really out of our hands. But I don’t mind the way things are right now, but obviously they have to do something with Winnipeg. So whatever they do, we take it.”

Travel aside, the division rivalries will be heightened even more, not that any of the current Atlantic Division teams needed help getting up for those games. The Washington Capitals in particular will now be under the microscope even more.

“I think that’ll be interesting for rivalries, for sure,” said Braydon Coburn. “I know from past experience anytime you play a team in the playoffs, it seems to breed bad blood. It just seems like in that kind of format you end up maybe playing some people in consecutive years in playoffs and I think that would really conjure up some fierce rivalries.”

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