A Look at How the Wild Would Fare in the New Central Division

With Craig Leipold letting slip a possible division re-alignment for the NHL, and with the dog days of summer upon us, we take a look at how the Wild has fared against their new potential division rivals, and compare that to the Wild's record against their current division mates.

The benefits of division realignment are many. Games played and over before midnight, less travel for the team, more practices on home ice, more time outside of hotels... The benefit to the league is geographical rivalries rather than teams such as the Wild playing rivals 1000+ miles away every night. Fans get to watch more games, rivalries are born, old hatreds renewed. 

But what is the result for the Wild in the standings? 

Team

W

L

T

OTL/SOL

GF

GA

Columbus Blue Jackets*

19

14

1

5

98

97

Detroit Red Wings*

10

22

3

5

93

136

Chicago Blackhawks

24

15

1

0

113

98

Dallas Stars

13

20

1

6

96

124

St. Louis Blues

20

12

5

3

105

88

Winnipeg Jets

6

2

1

0

32

25


Vancouver Canucks

30

27

5

8

192

185

Calgary Flames

24

28

4

7

143

143

Edmonton Oilers

34

20

4

5

169

139

Colorado Avalanche

35

33

3

5

190

213


Total Current Division

123

108

16

25

694

680

Total New Division w/ CBJ

82

63

9

14

444

432

Total New Division w/ DET

73

71

11

14

439

471


*It was not made clear if Columbus or Detroit would be in the Central Division. We compare using both. 

Looking at the above chart, one thing is clear. Detroit and Dallas absolutely own the Wild. Win loss records clearly in the "yeah, not so much" column, and goal differentials that are, well, not good. If the NHL would like to ship the Wings east, the Wild would likely have zero problem with that decision. 

Everything else on the chart seems pretty even. Winning record against the current division, winning record in potential new divisions. Goal differential is fairly close, with the worst option being lining up with Detroit. 

The Wild have won won approximately 53% of available points while in the Northwest division, about 57% of points available against a central division with Columbus, and about 51% of points available in a central division that includes Detroit. 

What does all of this mean? Not a whole heck of a lot. It is, however, interesting to note that the Wild would not be crushed in any potential re-alignment. If they hope to be competitive, however, they will need to find ways to stop the big red machine, and would definitely need to find a way to even up that record with Dallas. That 57% of points won with the Blue Jackets looks awfully nice, though. 

While the Wild play the current central division only a handful of times each year, the numbers do give at least a base to compare to. However, it would be interesting to see if the records with teams like St. Louis and Chicago would even out with increased familiarity that comes with division rivalries. 

The Wild look to be OK no matter what happens, but if the Red Wings wind up in the division, the Wild could be up against the wall in regards to competing for a division title. 

Anything you notice from the chart above? How do you think the Wild would do in the proposed re-alignment?

Stick tap to shrpsports.com for the records in the chart. 
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