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How the West was Lost

Chicago-Los Angeles-Chicago-Los Angeles-Salary Cap

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NHL: NOV 30 Jets at Kings Photo by Rob Curtis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Almost ten years ago the Western Conference was the envy of the NHL. It produced back to back to back to back Stanley Cup Championships and there was talk that the Eastern Conference was much, much weaker than the West. So what happened?

In short, it appears that the Western Conference got old. It sounds dumb, but it is true. The premiere teams got old and got into salary cap trouble. They traded away good players and those weaker Eastern Conference teams who had lots of salary cap space stepped up and took those players from them for less than their value to help those team who needed it. So kind of them.

The Jets were one of those teams. They traded Joel Armia to the Montreal Canadiens so the Habs would take Steve Mason off their hands. You know who would help the Winnipeg Jets right now (or the Buffalo Sabres if we are being really honest)? Joel Armia.

The Western Conference used to be the beacon of the often mocked Big Boy Hockey, but in reality the Western Conference played fast, physical hockey that at it’s peak was must-see insanity and at its worst boring trap hockey. Now the Western Conference is a box of chocolates with the big teams of the earlier years mere shadows of themselves.

Every once in a while (and this will probably be the last one of the season) SB Nation has opportunities for Arctic Ice Hockey to do sponsored posts from StubHub. This is one of those posts. So go see that Box of Chocolates game between the Los Angeles Kings and Winnipeg Jets while I sit in class being lectured at.