Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Posted: 06/13/2014 1:00 AM | Comments: 0
In the interests of a balanced schedule, the 11 teams of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League have decided to blend their two divisions into one for the 2014-15 hockey season.
The Addison and Sher-Wood Divisions will be a thing of the past as each team will play its rivals six times for a 60-game schedule. It's the first time in the league's modern era for such a move.
"The thing that has driven this move is the balanced-schedule concept," league commissioner Kim Davis told the Free Press Thursday. "For probably a half-dozen years now, some of our member teams have wanted a balanced schedule and it has been talked about, but no decision was ever taken.
"This year, it was approved at our recent board meeting. It's going to be very interesting and I think the clubs are full marks for wanting to try it this way."
Davis said the league has done some homework on what a balanced schedule will mean in terms of travel.
He said an overriding factor in making the move and abandoning the status quo was that fans wanted more variety.
"Research done by some of our teams told them that fans wanted to see more games with some of the other clubs," he said. "My sense is there will be an increase in interest and revenues, let's say, if Dauphin can see the Winnipeg Blues more often, for example."
The league's previous schedule had divisional teams facing each other eight times a season, with just four games per season against the other division.
In addition to pulling all 11 teams into a single division, the league has decided to amend its playoff format.
Ten of the 11 teams will now qualify for post-season play, with finishers seven through 10 being put into a "Survivor Series" as the first round, a best-of-three affair to decide the two teams that will join the top six in the quarter-finals.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 13, 2014 0
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Seguin's hat trick rallies Stars past Panthers 5-4
Wisniewski goal, assist lifts Jackets over Preds
Pominville helps Wild beat Penguins 4-1
Mrazek helps Red Wings beat Maple Leafs 3-0
Haggerty, Fast each score 2 as Rangers beat Flyers
Stars sign young forward Cody Eakin to 2-year deal
Chiarelli completes Bruins roster with Krug, Smith
Select few get lots of ice time at Jets' camp
Blue Jackets assign 4 players to AHL Springfield
McLeod, Stuart sign contract extensions
Habs best hope to end Canada's Cup drought
Leafs beat Sabres 3-2 -- but lose players
Carter scores 3 goals in Kings' 4-2 win over Ducks
Ferland scores twice as Flames beat Avs 2-1
Gomez nets 2 in Devils' preseason win over Flyers
Blackhawks skate away with easy 5-0 win
Kessel brothers are friendly rivals
Kings to be careful with Quick
Meech helps Stars beat Blues 4-2
Goodrow leads Sharks to 3-1 win over Ducks
Spurgeon lifts Wild past Jets, 4-3
Leino helps Bruins beat Red Wings 3-1
Blues sign Jaden Schwartz to 2-year contract
Predators sweep Panthers
Kapanen, Ebbett score, Pens beat Blue Jackets 2-1
Downie looking to catch on with Penguins
Blackhawks hoping Richards can anchor 2nd line
Lessio lifts Coyotes past Sharks in shootout
Canucks top line starting to click in pre-season
Rangers beat Blackhawks 4-1
Bozak debuts for Leafs as Tallinder gets hurt
Islanders beat Devils at Barclays Center
Ovechkin scores twice, Capitals beat Bruins
NHL linesman Nowak returns from injury
Blue Jackets reassign 8 players from training camp
Trapezoid tweak gets special attention from Hawks
Parise changes his tune
Kings beat Ducks 4-3 in shootout
Galchenyuk OT goal lifts Habs 3-2 over Avs
Red Wings hold off Blackhawks 3-2