There are some busy bees out there that have taken the time to analyze the upcoming NHL schedule. These wonderful folks, and I mean that sincerely, have taken the time to not only analyze strengths and weaknesses in every schedule, which we all do, but also the amount of miles travelled by each team every year.
Once again, the Vancouver Canucks find themselves in the Top Five in the most miles logged department; they are fifth. San Jose leads the way with just a tick over 50000 miles travelled, (80 grand for those of you scoring in metric), while the Oilers, Stars and Flames fill out the top five teams on the plane the most.
Mileage is not a built in excuse, and any team that gripes about it has bigger problems. Mileage is a geographic certainty for Vancouver, and while you think that mileage can be a killer for teams, all teams, including Vancouver, chart their seasons the second they get their schedules and even do prep beforehand.
When I was part of the AHL, we looked at various drafts and we able to make suggestions to help our cause. Not all were accepted because the other 29 franchises were making similar requests, but those requests that were reasonable generally were worked out, if not through the league itself, then through the member teams in private.
Fans out there that want to suggest that the East has better travel are right, but there is a big equalizer that seldom gets talked about, and that is back to back games.
Because of their close proximity to each other, the teams out East face more back to back games, in some cases, 50% more than the West.
Pick your poison, more travel or more back to backs. Either way, your team needs to be ready, because travel has been and always will be a way of the NHL.