The Metropolitan Division....Seriously? by @ChicksDigHockey



The 2013 – 2014 season opens with a league-wide realignment. It had to happen. The last straw was when the Atlanta Thrashers moved to Winnipeg and became the Jets. The travel became brutal and inequitable for the Canadian team prompting a shuffling of the divisions. So, why not rename the divisions when you redraw the lines?




The Western conference continues to be comprised of the Pacific and Central Divisions. The Eastern conference continues to have the Atlantic Division but it isn’t the same. It now stretches from Montreal to southern Florida. The newest named division is also the most compact; The Metropolitan Division.
When the powers that be all got together to name the new divisions, what sadistic bastard suggested the name Metropolitan? Clearly this was done with the meanest of intentions to somehow give a psychological disadvantage to the powerhouse of teams that comprise the new cluster. The Pittsburgh Penguins were the 2012-13 Atlantic Division champions but have no chance of defending that title. Instead, they will fight to finish at the top of the Metropolitan. (Sounds more like a charity 5K rather than a hockey division.)

Who heard Metropolitan and thought, “What a bad-ass name?” Admit it, you thought Metrosexual; men who are meticulously groomed, know which designer clothes best fit their frame and understand the line-up of silverware at a formal gathering. I thought of Henrik Lundqvist, possibly one of the most beautiful specimens to ever don a pair of skates. I’ll bet even Henrik thought of Henrik. I imagine he ran his fingers thru his perfectly quaffed hair, flashed a pristine white smile and proclaimed, “Damn straight we’re Metropolitan”. 

Why didn’t the executives in charge of naming put it up for a vote from the people? Wouldn’t we have been sensible and voted with our hearts? Who wouldn’t have loved to see a return of the Norris, Smythe, Patrick and Adams Divisions? Why not Pacific, Central, Atlantic and Mid-Atlantic? Alas, it was not to be….send in the Metrosexual jokes.

We who love teams that now sit in that awkward triangle of a division are left to just deal with it much like the unfortunate son in that Johnny Cash tune, “A Boy Named Sue.” No longer will we marvel at the folly of Mr. and Mrs. Shelly naming their son Jody. Much like young Jody who grew up learning to let his fists rather than his skills do the talking, so the members of the Metropolitan Division are destined to defend the cruel moniker they have been saddled with.

The NHL clearly named the new division without forthought. Sidney Crosby, upon hearing his division is now named the Metropolitan replied "Is it really?" while making a face like he just smelled a fart. The entire city of Philadelphia cringed when they heard the name assuming they would be required to clean up and act like a real city. Carolina is clearly baffled. When asked for comment they replied, “We think it’s irresponsible of the NHL to name a division after an alcoholic beverage.” The Blue Jackets, however are thrilled! Hell, they're happy just to be playing games in the same time zone. 

Shakespeare famously wrote: “What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”. The power of a name and its value has long been immortalized in prose, poetry, and religious ceremony. Everyone recognizes himself or herself by name. The 8 teams of the Metropolitan Division will either define their name with greatness or be defined by the relative awkwardness of it. That story is yet to be told but I for one will be interested to see which team raises the first Metropolitan Division banner to the rafters.
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