January 7, 2012
Realignment delay disappointing: Chipman
By Kirk Penton, QMI Agency
Mark Chipman is "disappointed" the NHL's realignment plan won't be going ahead next season.
The Winnipeg Jets governor was surprised Friday when he learned the new format, in which his team would play in a conference with other Central Time zone teams, would not be going ahead due to NHL Players Association concerns.
As a result, the Jets will remain in the Southeast Division for another season, which isn't ideal from a travel perspective but doesn't bother Chipman that much.
"I suppose I could stomp my feet and say that's not fair, but one thing I learned about this business a long time ago is you're only as good as we are collectively in operating this business," Chipman said. "I don't think that taking another year in the Southeast is that burdensome. If it allows the league the opportunity to create something better for all of us, I don't know that it's that big a sacrifice for a year."
The NHL announced Friday it would not be going ahead with its realignment plan for the 2012-13 season. The NHLPA then said it is not willing to accept the realignment plan at this time because it had not received enough information about the proposal, specifically about travel concerns and the playoff format.
Pundits, however, believe this is the NHLPA's first shot across the bow leading up to collective bargaining agreement talks, which are slated to begin later this month.
Chipman said the extensive travel isn't a factor in his team's road woes this season, and he hinted the NHL schedule maker will give the Jets a few favours next season.