Have you ever wondered how many miles each team will travel during the 2013-14 NHL Regular Season? Once again statistical wizard Dirk Hoag has calculated the mileage for all 30 NHL teams this season. His figures are presented below by conference and division.
|San Jose Sharks||57,612||Colorado Avalanche||49,007|
|Phoenix Coyotes||52,633||Dallas Stars||46,660|
|Calgary Flames||48,970||Winnipeg Jets||46,477|
|Anaheim Ducks||48,568||Minnesota Wild||44,273|
|Vancouver Canucks||48,510||Nashville Predators||39,810|
|Los Angeles Kings||48,432||St. Louis Blues||39,328|
|Edmonton Oilers||45,192||Chicago Blackhawks||38,680|
|Florida Panthers||45,136||Carolina Hurricanes||38,879|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||43,102||Pittsburgh Penguins||37,061|
|Boston Bruins||42,389||Columbus Blue Jackets||36,597|
|Montreal Canadiens||39,327||Washington Capitals||36,250|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||35,975||Philadelphia Flyers||34,929|
|Detroit Red Wings||35,324||New Jersey Devils||33,151|
|Ottawa Senators||34,850||New York Islanders||29,933|
|Buffalo Sabres||34,812||New York Rangers||29,839|
With an eye towards reduced travel and pairing teams with their time zone neighbors, this season's NHL realignment has resulted in the reshuffling of teams from six divisions in to four divisions, including the disappearance of the Northeast, Southeast and Northwest, addition of the Metropolitan, and retooling of the Pacific, Central and Atlantic.
This year the most traveled team (San Jose Sharks) nearly doubles the mileage of the least traveled team (New York Rangers), with the average Western team logging 46,725 miles to the Eastern's 36,722 miles for a NHL average of 41,387 miles. Breaking it down by division, the Pacific leads all others averaging 49,988 miles, followed by the Central (43,462), Atlantic (38,864) and Metropolitan (34,580).
The chart below sorts teams by most mileage to least for 2013-14 showing their total travel for the last 82 game season (2011-12) and the differential between miles traveled before and after realignment.
Interestingly, NHL realignment has yielded an average savings of 178 miles per team, for a total league-wide savings of 5,340 miles. The San Jose Sharks (+13,623) and the Boston Bruins (+8,619) lead their respective conferences in terms of increased travel as against their pre-realignment 2011-12 mileage. Ten teams (1/3) have been impacted by less than 1,000 miles as compared to their 2011-12 mileage.
The NHL's new season structure calls for each team in each rink every year. Thus, the mileage savings achieved through pairing teams by proximity have been spent to afford improvements in the schedule. While most teams are now aligned with their geographic neighbors, there are still some peculiarities. Most notably, the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning have been paired with six teams in the northeast under the ambiguous Metropolitan namesake.
In addition to counting clicks, Hoag's Schedule tallies each team's number of back-to-back games showing an average of 15 such occurrences per club, the New Jersey Devils (22) leading all others and the Colorado Avalanche, San Jose Sharks and Winnipeg Jets playing the least (10).
NHL life is indeed a highway, flying thousands of miles all season long.