The closest NHL city to Winnipeg is Minnesota/St. Paul (Wild) 385 miles south. To the west Edmonton and Calgary are about 745 miles away. (Mileage from timeanddate.com distance from Winnipeg, Manitoba)
Some other cities in the Western Conference:
- Chicago--718 miles
- St. Louis--846
With Atlanta vacating the NHL's Southeast division, what does the league do with realignment?
Well, to fill the hole in the Southeast Division, the natural choice would be for the Nashville Predators to head there. Getting out of a division that features Detroit and Chicago would certainly be a bonus, but the Southeast isn't exactly a cake-walk anymore with Washington and, now, Tampa Bay providing formidable foes.
The division would look like this:
- Tampa Bay
It would be easy to just plug Winnipeg in the Western Conference, Central Division, but using the map above, a bit more realignment could be used.
The Dallas Stars head to the Central Division:
- St. Louis
That leaves a hole in the Pacific, which will be filled by Colorado with the division looking like this:
- Los Angeles
- San Jose'
Finally, the Northwest Division would look like this:
Sorry, Atlanta. If the move goes through (which is very likely,) I feel for the hockey fans.
That being said, welcome back Winnipeg. Good luck, you have your hands full trying to make it in today's NHL. Just ask the team that's heading your way, they just lost tens of millions of dollars over the last few years.