Ramblings: Potential division realignment; Henrique’s value; Jokiharju; DeBrusk – November 24

Michael Clifford

2020-11-24

Jake DeBrusk signed with the Bruins for two years with an AAV a little under $3.7M per season. His fantasy value in the upcoming season will depend on when the season actually begins. With both Marchand and Pastrnak out of the lineup on a January 1st start, DeBrusk could see a lot of top minutes. Even a later start could see him keep a lock on the top PP role with Pastrnak out until February. Any later than that, though, and his value just keeps going down.

*

One thing I have been thinking about as we wait for the players and owners to hammer out a deal is what the divisional alignments would look like. Despite it becoming public knowledge that some owners want players traveling across the country to every venue, or that some don't want to play without fans, it feels like we're heading to a four-division hybrid bubble with one in Canada and three in America. It seems the only way to allow players to continue seeing their families during the season while also keeping the ability to have a season in place. When MLB was traveling across America for games – and they had huge difficulties early in the season – Covid cases per day were roughly 75 percent lower than they are now.  The environment for the NHL and NBA in winter will not be the same as MLB in summer.

Anyway, that's besides the point. What should divisions look like? Well, we can eliminate the seven Canadian teams as they get their own division. We're left with three divisions for 24 teams, or eight teams per. They should be grouped by geographic location to cut down on travel distances (makes back-to-back games easier). Given we don't care about East/West for Canada, we'll be agnostic for the same in America, though we won't be putting teams in Florida and California in the same division.

Finally, there's not much we can do about the California teams. They're all varying degrees of bad right now and won't be great in 2020-21. But, we have to put them all in the same division for geographic reasons. At least they're in a buzzsaw division so they'll have to really earn a playoff spot if they get there. To that end, with Ottawa in the CND, I want to separate what I see as the three next-weakest teams: Detroit, New Jersey, and Arizona.

 

Southwest Division

We have five teams in California, Nevada, and Arizona, all within about 500 miles of each other. Colorado and Dallas are the nearest teams to those fi