Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Playing in a Travelin' Band

A commenter compiled the travel distances for all 30 NHL teams so far this season over at Kukla's Korner (in miles):
1. Anaheim 26152
2. Los Angeles 24966
3. Edmonton 21926
4. Vancouver 20626
5. San Jose 19938
6. Colorado 19922
7. Columbus 16985
8. Phoenix 16915
9. Florida 16910
10. Calgary 16576
11. Atlanta 16303
12. Dallas 15610
13. Tampa Bay 15486
14. Philadelphia 14573
15. Minnesota 14542
16. Boston 13574
17. Nashville 13573
18. Detroit 13570
19. St Louis 13106
20. Pittsburgh 12294
21. Buffalo 12176
22. Chicago 11818
23. Toronto 11252
24. Washington 10990
25. Carolina 10855
26. Ottawa 10377
27. NY Rangers 9426
28. New Jersey 9214
29. Montreal 8071
30. NY Islanders 5667
Earlier this year, Hockey Numbers put together a list of what the total travel schedule distance would be for the season (using kilometres, just to make it interesting).

On the first list, Anaheim and Los Angeles are way up there due to their little U.K. adventure to start the season, but by year's end, the top travellers will be Vancouver, Edmonton, Colorado, Calgary and Phoenix.

New Jersey, the Islanders and Washington barely leave their area code this season.



Trips KM KM/Trip
1 Van 58 87440 1508
2 Edm 56 83036 1483
3 Col 59 75872 1286
4 Cal 55 73180 1331
5 Phx 58 72693 1253
6 LA 58 69915 1205
7 SJ 57 68869 1208
8 Min 55 67821 1233
9 Dal 57 67604 1186
10 Cmb 61 67414 1105
11 Ana 57 66521 1167
12 StL 61 65725 1077
13 Nas 57 63775 1119
14 Chi 63 63440 1007
15 TB 62 63217 1020
16 Fla 60 61878 1031
17 Atl 62 60166 970
18 Det 61 59510 976
19 Tor 63 49275 782
20 Ott 63 48097 763
21 Car 58 44879 774
22 Mon 59 44683 757
23 NYR 63 43336 688
24 Buf 62 43241 697
25 Phi 61 42989 705
26 Bos 59 42769 725
27 Pit 62 42485 685
28 Was 60 40934 682
29 NYI 63 39587 628
30 NJ 60 38815 647

If you look at the map of the league I put together last summer, you can really see why the miles would add up for Colorado and the three western Canadian cities.

15 Comments:

At 10:07 AM, December 18, 2007, Anonymous David said...

I think it's an unnecessary disadvantage to the western teams. They should realign the league to something like the NFL or MLB.

Better yet, they should realign the league based on standings every few years, but randomize it a bit so they can put it on tv as an event in September or something.

And in case you think I'm some whiner from the west I'll end this comment with:

Go Leafs Go!

 
At 11:55 AM, December 18, 2007, Blogger Chemmy said...

Are they going to put fewer teams in the west, or pick up Calgary and drive it south?

 
At 2:07 PM, December 18, 2007, Blogger PJ Swenson said...

San Jose Sharks radio color commentator Jamie Baker said this may result in 30-40 fewer practices for teams on the West coast, like San Jose, LA, Anaheim, or Vancouver.

It that is the case, or even half that amount is more accurate, that is a significant advantage going forward.

 
At 3:05 PM, December 18, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it'd be interesting if you calculated 'points per mile traveled', or something like that, to see how much of an impact something like this has on the standings.
It'd be hard to account for the actual quality of each team, but even just to compare relatively similarly skilled teams (cbj/pho/wsh, ott/det/ana, etc.).

 
At 4:08 PM, December 18, 2007, Blogger Joe said...

I'm curious to see how the numbers break down once the teams are playing a real schedule again. Obviously, with the very little interconference play this year, it exacerbates an already bad situation for the western conference. That the leader goes over 2x as far as the last team on the list is ridiculous.

Once the schedule is fixed, I'd like to see how much extra time that is lost, spent traveling. For any free agent, thats got to be a consideration. When you work a job that puts you on the road a lot as it is, the last thing you want is to spend even more time in transit, not getting to see your family or even be able to do anything but wait for the plane to land.

 
At 5:17 PM, December 18, 2007, Blogger Stan the Caddy said...

Well, if they decide to balance the schedule better, I'd like them to also consider balancing the divisions a little more fairly (I guess having them play fewer games against their own week division would help that), or at least do away with the guaranteed seed for the division leaders.

Here's a little anecdotal evidence to throw into the fire. A family friend who is a 14 year pro has played on the Island, for Vancouver, Chicago and now plays for the Rangers. He's seen both ends of the spectrum (mostly with a more balance schedule however), but by far his best gig (travel wise) was playing for Lugano of the Swiss league last season. No trip was longer than two hours, and he was home to his wife, in his own bed every night. Now, I know we can't blame Gary for the geography of this continent, but, if I were a "partner" in this business, I would expect him to do everything he could to find a more balanced resolution.

 
At 5:25 PM, December 18, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Heck, his travel schedule in Kamloops was probably worse than it is on the Rangers.

The family friend, I mean.

 
At 5:34 PM, December 18, 2007, Blogger Kel said...

Would the family friend be offended if mentioned by name? You pretty much identified him anyway, given that only two current players on the Rangers team played for the Canucks, the other one haven't played for the Hawks.

 
At 5:41 PM, December 18, 2007, Anonymous BDH said...

how's that adding teams in europe discussion going?

 
At 7:00 PM, December 18, 2007, Anonymous theoil said...

It's hard to believe that the 300 kms separating Edmonton from Calgary results in an extra 10,000 kms over the season.

 
At 9:09 PM, December 18, 2007, Blogger young d said...

And its 24,901 miles to fly around the globe at the Equator.
Puts the travel into perspective, doesn't it?

Still, they're flying. Gotta be a treat after a few years in the CHL - especially, but not limited to, the WHL.

 
At 9:32 PM, December 18, 2007, Blogger Stan the Caddy said...

Heck, his travel schedule in Kamloops was probably worse than it is on the Rangers.

Who wouldn't love a two day bus ride from Kamloops to Brandon? What scenery!

Something tells me Struddy was just happy to be there (Kamloops), playing with future all stars (hall of famers?) and winning championships. The Island, on the other hand...

Would the family friend be offended if mentioned by name? You pretty much identified him anyway, given that only two current players on the Rangers team played for the Canucks, the other one haven't played for the Hawks.


I don't think he would be offended. I wasn't intentionally not mentioning him for privacy reasons, I just didn't want to sound like one of those I-know-someone-who-plays-in-the-NHL
guys. I guess it came across that way anyways.

I like the investigative journalism though... isn't more fun that way?

 
At 12:25 AM, December 19, 2007, Blogger Doogie said...

Edmonton's huge gap over Calgary in travel may be due to structuring.

 
At 1:42 PM, December 20, 2007, Blogger Bruce said...

Now, I know we can't blame Gary for the geography of this continent, but, if I were a "partner" in this business, I would expect him to do everything he could to find a more balanced resolution.

Bettman has no clue about balance. This is a guy who brought in a system where some games are worth two points and some worth three, where some games have winners but no losers, where some games have winning goaltenders but not game-winning-goal scorers, and where the standings and statistics quite simply do not add up. Not to mention a schedule where eastern Canadian teams don't play western Canadian teams even once this entire season, but where "geographic rivals" like Vancouver and Minnesota will meet no fewer than eight times.

And this is the guy they expect to balance the books?

 
At 12:32 PM, December 21, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does this list really capture the impact on players?

I'd rather, for instance, a 1500-mile plane ride with no layovers and a short trip to the airport, then a long trip to the airport and a layover (I assume that the NHL has chartered planes, so no layovers).

Also, some "short" trips might have a different impact. Boston to Philadelphia versus New York to New Jersey versus Buffalo to Pittsburgh.

I'm really not sure, but it seems like a possibly significant factor.

 

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