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NHL Realignment: Potential Plan Could Leave Stars Stuck In Pacific

Yahoo's NHL blogger Greg Wyshynski pieced together some cryptic tweets regarding the NHL's rumored division realignment from TSN's Bob McKenzie Tuesday night, and the results aren't pretty for Dallas Stars fans.

With the Atlanta Thrashers of the Eastern Conference's Southeast Division becoming the Winnipeg Jets in one offseason, the league is looking to move the new Jets west and shift existing teams east. As part of what could be a four division shuffle, the Stars would fit perfectly in the Central division (currently Nashville, Detroit, Chicago, Columbus and St. Louis) if one of those teams (rumored to be the Predators, Blue Jackets or Red Wings) went to the Eastern Conference.

Except McKenzie is reporting that the league would attempt to put the new Jets somewhere in the Western Conference, shoehorn Detroit into the... Southeast Division?... and be done with it. Wyshysnki angrily retorts that such a quick-fix move would be lazy, and hurt several other franchises (namely the Stars) in the process:

...this is an opportunity to go one step further and really help some teams that are getting just as screwed by time zones and travel as the Wings.

A chance to move a Central Time Zone team in Texas, the Dallas Stars, out of the Pacific. (How hard is it: Dallas to Central, Winnipeg to NW, Colorado to Pacific. Look, dominoes!)

Righting these wrongs is complicated. It takes time. It takes foresight about the future of teams in Phoenix and Quebec City, the future of NHL expansion. It takes stepping on some toes to find fairness for others.

Detroit to the Southeast, Winnipeg to the Central, and 'let's call it a day' would be a missed opportunity, teetering on the brink of disgrace.

The Stars are the only non-Pacific team in the Pacific, sharing a division - and a two-hour gap in starting times for games - with true West Coast franchises (Phoenix, L.A., San Jose and Anaheim). Columbus, an Eastern Time Zone team, faces similar issues in the Central, while Nashville is a logical fit to join Carolina, Tampa Bay, Miami and Washington, D.C., in the Eastern Conference's Southeast.

Basically, if a Central Division team isn't picked to move to the Eastern Conference, it looks like Stars fans are in for many more sleepy weeknights.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.