The NHL realigned its divisions for the 2021 season, a move necessitated by teams’ inability to cross the Canadian border in the time of COVID-19. Generally, it wouldn’t make a ton of sense for Vancouver and Ottawa to be in the same division, but they’re both in Canada, so, fine, they’re in the North.
But, there’s also some zany stuff going on. The Florida Panthers, for instance, are in the Central Division, despite being a short drive from the Atlantic Ocean. Ditto the Carolina Hurricanes and Tampa Bay Lightning. Meanwhile, Dallas is west of both St. Louis and St. Paul, but the Stars are in the Central while the Blues and Wild are in the West.
This is hardly the first time that geographic divisions in sports haven’t aligned with real world geography. Here’s a look at some other teams whose divisional placements didn’t fit the atlas.