NHL Southeast Division: Revamped and Ready to Compete in the East

August 17th, 2010 by Tom Schreier Leave a reply »
In the 1990s, when the economy was soaring and the popularity of athletics was at an all-time high, the NHL decided to engage in a major expansion into non-traditional markets.

The migration southward was not unprecedented.

In 1972, the Atlanta Flames were introduced to the league along with the New York Islanders. The Flames advanced to the playoffs six out of the eight years they were in Georgia before moving to Calgary after the 1979 season.

The Washington Capitals were formed in 1974 along with the Kansas City Scouts. The Scouts franchise struggled, lasting only two seasons before moving to Colorado, and now are known as the New Jersey Devils.

Washington did not qualify for the playoffs in their first eight seasons, but eventually became contenders. The team went to the playoffs every year from 1982-1996. After missing the playoffs during the 1996 season the team advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1997, where they were swept by the Detroit Red Wings.

At the turn of the century the NHL saw the southbound movement pay dividends.

The moribund Hurricanes, which moved from Hartford, Connecticut to Raleigh, No ...

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