Originally Posted by antonio106
I thought about this before, and I think it's a neat idea, but I doubt it would work.
For one thing--correct me if I'm wrong--european teams don't have farm teams. It seems to me that it would screw up the AHL and ECHL, unless you proposed the three leagues somehow aligned with each other.
Also, the NHL is a league that NEEDS parity to survive. Atlanta missed the playoffs too many times and moved. Simple. The same fate will befall Columbus, and any non-original six market with a prolonged playoff drought. Relegation would KILL a small market team, IMO. The economics are all different than Europe.
It pains me to say, because that sounds like a really neat concept, and I always wished something like that could work here!
European teams have farmteams. Most of the first-league teams have farmteam agreements with second-league teams. The second-league teams work as own teams but have an agreement to exchange players with their respective first-league teams.
If the NHL would split in two leagues NHL teams could still keep their AHL farmteams. It's not like the NHL2 would be just on the level of the AHL. If you take last years worst 15 NHL teams they are still a lot better then most AHL team. Obviously there would be the risk that teams realigned to the NHL2 would eventually dump a lot of players and their level would go down.
You basically would need a salary cap floor in the NHL2 that would guarantee a certain level to avoid that.
Don't forget that realigned teams would all battle for an own cup let's say a NHL2 cup, that would be handed out for the first place team of the NHL2. The first 4 teams could play playoffs to determine who is going to be promoted to the NHL.
Fans of the bad NHL teams (like Columbus, Islanders) would have a chance to cheer for their team to be promoted, they could see their team in the "promotion-playoffs". Eventually you could also have decisive promotion-realignment games against the looser of the playouts of the NHL.