More NHL Expansion?! Who Would Be the New Rivals in the Pacific?

Rumblings have emerged about potential NHL expansion. Who would be Vegas's new division rivals? What would the new landscape look like?

Faith Hope & Love Gospel Brunch
Faith Hope & Love Gospel Brunch / Prince Williams/GettyImages
3 of 5

2. Let's Set the Western Conference Up

Nashville Predators v Vegas Golden Knights
Nashville Predators v Vegas Golden Knights / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

This took a bit to work around. You want to keep original rivalries afloat while appeasing specific teams. Plus, these moves must make geographical sense. You'd want a northwestern division, a Pacific division, and such.

Each division will play non-division opponents twice (one home, one away), excluding neighboring divisions, where it'll be two home games and two road games per team. The rest are division games. The formatting would go as follows for neighboring divisions.

  1. Pacific+Northwest
  2. Southwest+Central
  3. Eastern Canada+Northeast
  4. Atlantic+Southeast

So let's start off in the Western Conference since it was MUCH easier to make.

Pacific Division

Anaheim Ducks

Los Angeles Kings

San Diego Surfers

San Jose Sharks

Vegas Golden Knights

The San Diego Gulls, the AHL affiliate for the Anaheim Ducks, has had success with hockey. They drew in 9,305 fans in 2017-2018, which showcases the potential success of an NHL franchise.

Plus, there have been rumblings of an NHL franchise with Stan Kroenke investing in Midway Rising Development. The Los Angeles Rams owner has more than enough money to his name, with $15.7 billion to spend.

As for the Vegas Golden Knights, it creates a new rivalry. Now, you have Vegas going up against another California team. Plus, Golden Knight fans will want to trek down to San Diego for a hockey game. Road trip!

Northwest Division

Calgary Flames

Edmonton Oilers

Seattle Kraken

Utah Coyotes

Vancouver Canucks

With the Arizona Coyotes in constant relocation limbo, rumors have circulated of their next destination. The location? Salt Lake City. The state of Utah has experienced tremendous growth and its capital would make for a solid location.

As for the other teams, the rivalries would remain intact. Seattle and Vancouver would battle for the Cascades while the Oilers and Flames duke it out for Alberta. All we need are some firs and pines and we're set.

Southwest Division

Colorado Avalanche

Dallas Stars

Houston Jets

Kansas City Scouts

St. Louis Blues

Finally! Another Texas team to accompany the Dallas Stars! Tilman Fertitta has ramped up talks with the NHL to bring a hockey team to Houston. With the past success of the Aeros, it makes sense to finally create a southwestern division.

In this case, let's assume the Winnipeg Jets get relocated... again. There are attendance issues that are concerning for the Jets, after all. Plus, it's a known conspiracy theory that Gary Bettman hates Canada. Fertitta would move the Jets out of their bandbox arena, the Canada Life Centre and the team would go down to Space City.

On top of that, St. Louis gets an in-state rival, too. With the addition of Kansas City, there will be plenty of Show Me State action going on in Missouri. Maybe bring back the Scouts name?

Central Division

Chicago Blackhawks

Detroit Red Wings

Milwaukee Freeze

Minnesota Wild

Nashville Predators

If the Winnipeg Jets don't relocate after their drama, you can pencil them into this division and move Detroit to the Eastern Conference. In the meantime, DETROIT AND CHICAGO ARE IN THE SAME DIVISION AGAIN!

I know Detroit fans will whine and moan about having to go out west again. However, divisional play is the main focus of this expansion, where the Red Wings would still have two West Coast trips a season. C'mon, Red Wings fans. You missed the Blackhawks and Chelsea Dagger.