Things in the Eastern Conference will get a whole lot tougher if this happens. With talk of realignment in the news lately ( at least where I live ) the question becomes who moves ? I for one would love to see more Wings vs. Bruins, Habs, NYR and Leafs ( original six matchups ).
Here is a question and answer from The Detroit News with Mike Ilitch that suggests it could happen.
Note : I edited out the non-hockey questions .
Ilitch on the Wings: 'We're gonna have a new arena'
Q . I'd be remiss if I didn't ask about the Wings, with their season starting. Do you believe you have a Cup contender again?
A . The best way to analyze the Red Wings is, they're good, but I don't know how good. I'm reminded of this — in 1995, we were in the Stanley Cup Finals, playing the New Jersey Devils, and they had a system called the trap, and they hit us with it. I had a brilliant coach like Scotty Bowman, and Scotty couldn't figure it out. They were all trying to skate through it. So, what happens the next year? We adopt it in a hurry, and we win two Stanley Cups. We were bloodhounds.
There's a tendency to slither away from that, and a team's got to be reminded of it. You gotta come back and be 120 percent, really pay the price.
Q . When you talk about stars, you get big-time coaches — Scotty, Mike Babcock, Leyland.
A . I look for experience. Good makeup too. Scotty had the kind of makeup you couldn't figure out. (Laughs.)
Q . OK, once and for all, are you gonna get the Wings out of the Western Conference or not?
A . The commissioner (Gary Bettman) promised me I was next. We even had a meeting over lunch this past season, and he had all his people here, and he goes, 'Yeah, I promised Mike he'd be the next one to go in the Eastern Conference.' So I expect to be in next year. Jimmy D (Devellano) is on the phone every other week reminding them.