There are few things the NHL does or even considers that could benefit the Leafs. In fact things like revenue sharing, salary caps, putting the Leafs in the same division as the Lightning are signs that the NHL has no interest in doing right by the team that props it up the most. Canada’s Team has been done dirty, but there are signs that could be changing.
Golden Knights owner Bill Foley to @BrianBlessing on Vegas Hockey Hotline on facing Nate Schmidt/Canucks: "Yeah, but they're going to be in the Canadian division."
— David Schoen (@DavidSchoenLVRJ) October 14, 2020
Buried at the bottom of that quote about two teams that no one cares about is something that directly impacts the Leafs. The assertion by an NHL owner that there will in fact be a Canadian division next season.
You might need a refresher on what teams those are because they either suck or don’t matter, but here is how those teams finished last season:
At first glance it might be appalling that the Leafs aren’t at the top of that list, but after doing a few seconds of research it’s clear that the Pacific Division has been operating as a house league for years and has gone unchecked. I’m sure the Leafs will do just fine against a team that has a goaltending tandem of Mikko Koskinen and Mike Smith, and could have a Tyson Barrie and Kris Russell pairing on the blueline. How blessed are we?
The downgrading of the Canucks, and the lack of upgrading of the Oilers, will pretty much leave the Flames as the only legitimate competition for the Leafs next season as we can assume the Habs and Senators will continue to be as hopelessly inept as they’ve been the past couple of years.
We should really want this to happen for the Leafs, if for no other reason than if there are fans at any point in the season, this pretty much guarantees Toronto a year of playing in front of a friendly audience, or a 50/50 split when they play Montreal. Canada loves Canada’s team and the NHL looks to be giving Canadians a lot more of it. Leafs in every city might be the greatest thing to happen to this country since socialized medicine.
Of course we should probably pump our brakes a little. Nothing has been announced and even if the NHL is leaning this way, they always find a way to hurt us, but this seems like a great thing, minus those long bus rides in and out of Winnipeg.