As we previously chronicled, the Caps have more or less had their way with the S.E.D. since its inception.
2011-12 will be an interesting year for the warm-weather hockey league, with the Caps and Lightning reloading for another playoff run, and a young Carolina team on the cusp of yet again breaking through into the playoff strata of the league.
With the True North ownership group’s acquisition of the Atlanta Thrashers, perhaps most intriguing is the fact that Atlanta (once again) no longer has a hockey club. It seems that the Artists Formerly Known As The Thrashers will be playing in Winnipeg, where they may or may not be called the Jets again. More importantly, it means that the Capitals will be traveling a wee bit further to get to Winnipeg three times in 2011-12, as opposed to hopping on an AirTran flight to ATL barely substantive enough to get in a quality nap.
ProHockeyTalk broke down the likely re-alignment candidates after this season, which would likely involve Winnipeg eventually settling in the Central Division. For my part, I’m in agreement that swapping with Nashville makes the most sense geographically, even though it’s not exactly “close” to any of the other division cities, it definitely works out better for Winnipeg. Nashville is not exactly the most stable NHL market, and with Phoenix in NHL limbo as well, there may be more moving pieces that could effect who ends up battling with the Caps, Bolts, Canes and Cats.
And, as a bonus to get your weekend started, here’s an awesome brawl from 1987 between the Caps and the Jets. You gotta love Rod Langway.