TheHammer24 wrote:I don't really disagree with you Slappy. Perhaps I am over-valuing "fairness" and perhaps further I am ignoring the anecdotes you provide. The second half of your most recent long post is also spot on. The current system is also not fair under my scenario. But that a more-fair option is not the most-fair option is not a reason to choose a less-fair option.
I think one thing you ignore is it doesn't just matter who wins the Cup---I think it also matters who gets to the Cup, who gets to the Conference finals, and who gets the second round. There is significant disutility from your team losing earlier than they should.
Moreover, that "one of the best teams in the NHL" always wins the Cup ignores my central point: I suggest that the proposed system will make it significantly harder for certain teams to win the Cup. Suppose the West is fairly divided between a 7 and 8 team conference, but the East is divided into a stacked 8-team conference (NJ, NYR, Pittsburgh, Boston, Philly, Montreal, Toronto, Washington). Under a divisional playoff system (and unequal sized divisions), you would undoubtedly expect that conference to win fewer Stanley Cups. Yet, you would also expect a top-six team to always win the Cup. Presumably every Stanley Cup will be played between a top team from the West and a top team from the East, both whom are top-six NHL teams. That the Cup produces a "good team" as champion, doesn't mean the playoff system doesn't unfairly eliminate good teams too early.
"But that a more-fair option is not the most-fair option is not a reason to choose a less-fair option."
Of course. There is a point on the axis where unfairness outweighs the benefits it provides -- money, TV value, rooting interest, whatever -- where the structure is not one we should choose. My point on that axis is further away from a purely fair model compared to where you are, which is fine. I just don't think the proposed model is so "unfair" that its negatives outweigh its positives, but obviously to each their own. Your view is hardly unreasonable.
Also, your hypothetical conference isn't what they've done, and with a cap/reverse order of standings draft, no I don't even see your hypothetical conference dominating. Toronto hasn't won a cup in nearly 50 years. The Rags have one in 94, and before that, 1940. Boston hadn't won in 30 years prior to 2011. Philly is at nearly 40. Those places are hockey-mad, phenomenal markets, but particularly in the current economic structure, not guaranteed of success.