Gary Bettman may have denied it, but the Atlanta Thrashers are moving to Winnipeg. It's all but complete at this point, and with just a few small hurdles to clear, it's only a matter of time before the move becomes a reality.
So how will such a relocation impact the Philadelphia Flyers? Really, it won't. Not in any way shape or form. Except the travel department.
It's been reported that the Winnipeg team will stay in the Southeast Division (and thus, the Eastern Conference) for at least one more season, and that means that the Flyers will play them two times at home and two times on the road. You know, just like they're the Thrashers still.
Dirk over at On the Forecheck ran the numbers, and according to him, the two trips to Winnipeg next year will add 2,692 miles of travel and two extra time zone changes to the Flyers schedule. Of course, it's not a perfect number since that's based off the 2010-11 schedule, but it's a damn close estimate.
Really, we have no room to complain. The Flyers have one of the easiest travel schedules in the league every year thanks to our bitchin' location in the middle of the most powerful megalopolis in the world. The players on the Thrashers/Jets/Moose/whatevers will travel about 22,000 more miles than they did this past season.
The Flyers will travel a total of 32,408 miles according to Dirk's numbers. The ThrashJets? 66,340 miles. Yikes.