New Divisions. Thanks NHL for stealing our one good rivalry! Info-graphic from NHL.com
With the new divisions established, the Hawks will see the departure of the Blue Jackets, and they will lose their classic rivalry with the Redwings. The Central division gained the Avalanche, the Stars, the Wild, and The Jets. Outside of the already established Blues rivalry, none of those teams really strike me as rivals. The one weak exception is the Avs who knocked the Hawks out of an overtime filled playoffs back in 1996. They also were a brutal team to play against when they were at the top of their game. NBC will try to convince you that the Wild are rivals, but lets be honest, they aren’t the North Stars of old. The same can be said for the Dallas Stars; they aren’t the North Stars, and they just haven’t been a juggernaut opponent in recent years. The Hawks rarely met up with the current Jets, but with Ladd and Buff you never know what surprises they might bring when facing the Hawks in the future. The Predators will have a new offensive core coming into the 2014 season. Stalberg will have some motivation when playing the Hawks, so that might become something to look forward to. With the target on the back of the defending champs, all of these teams will have extra motivation to take down the Hawks. Who do you think will be the next big Hawks rival?