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Realignment

by Staff Writer / Dallas Stars

Will we store the sunscreen and stock up on Stanfield's?

The dozen years spent in the Pacific Division has been nice on the weather front (and "bannerful"), but it's been really hard on the ratings, travel and body clock. Those 9:30pm starts, endless trips to California and two time zone shifts take their toll.

This week the NHL Board of Governors will convene and a top topic is realignment. It's been moved to the peak of the pile because of the Thrashers move to Winnipeg and so with that comes an opportunity to reimagine the divisions, conferences and schedule.

That reimagining could include a Stars shift to the Central (Conference) - where they resided from their arrival in Texas in 93' until the switch to the Pacific in 1998 - and where the division - or as is being proposed, "conference" - name matches the time zone. (Ta-friggin-da).

The "conference" could include current Central inhabitants Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, Nashville, Columbus, plus newcomers Winnipeg, Minnesota and your Dallas Stars. If this happens we'd all just thaw out and stockpile vitamin D during the 41 home games.

If the four conference thing doesn't fly then it seems likely that they'll just swap Winnipeg and Detroit in a one for one, west-east trade, and jockey a couple of teams within the divisions to make things make a little more sense.

For hockey purity, rivalries renewed, and 7:00pm road starts on TV, I'm crossing everything not fixed in hopes that the bigger, bolder plan gets the votes.

How positive am I that this will happen? Well I just asked Santa for a calf-length eiderdown parka, Uggs and two earflap toques .. so .. ya .. I'll either be well prepared for the north, or I'll fit right in with the other wackos at Venice beach.

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