View Full Version : Thoughts on NHL re-allignment next year?

02-27-2013, 08:48 AM

The NHL has proposed a new realignment plan which would feature playoff wild-card spots and six divisions. The four-division alignment would look like this:

Pacific Division

Los Angeles
San Jose

Mid-West Division

St. Louis

Central Division

Tampa Bay

Atlantic Division

New Jersey
New York Islanders
New York Rangers

The NHL is proposing a new realignment plan which would feature playoff wild-card spots plus see the league go from six divisions to four.

The plan was detailed in an NHL memo sent to all 30 clubs Tuesday, which a team source leaked to ESPN.com.

The new plan calls for divisional playoffs, not conference playoffs as the NHL currently has. The division winner with the most regular-season points will play the lowest-seeded wild-card team in the first round, with the other division winner playing the other wild-card team.

The plan still needs approval from the NHL Players' Association plus the NHL's Board of Governors. The NHLPA and NHL have been working on these changes for the past three weeks.

If approved by all parties, the plan would go into effect for next season.

The Eastern Conference would feature the Atlantic and Central divisions while the Western Conference would have the Mid-West and Pacific divisions.

The Pacific Division would feature Anaheim, Calgary, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Jose and Vancouver.

The Mid-West: Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Minnesota, Nashville, St. Louis and Winnipeg.

The Central: Boston, Buffalo, Detroit, Florida, Montreal, Ottawa, Tampa Bay, Toronto.

The Atlantic: Carolina, Columbus, New Jersey, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington.

Elliotte Friedman of CBC's "Hockey Night In Canada" was first to report about these four new groupings over the weekend.

The playoff format as detailed in the league memo Tuesday calls for the top three teams in each division to earn postseason berths. The remaining four spots would go to wild cards, the top two records in each conference. That means there's a possibility five teams make it from one division and only three from another.

The schedule matrix would see each team play teams in the other conference both home and away.

Hockey Today

Scott Burnside, Pierre LeBrun, Katie Strang and Craig Custance discuss the NHL's new plan for realignment next season and how that affects the playoffs moving forward.

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The NHL's 30 owners voted yes to a new realignment plan in December 2011 that was based on a four-conference format but also saw Detroit and Columbus still in the West.

The change from the December 2011 configurations sees Detroit and Columbus go to the East plus Colorado leave the Pacific and join the Mid-West teams.

The NHLPA blocked the December 2011 plan, citing travel concerns for its players plus playoff inequity of having the top four teams in each conference make the playoffs under that format, unfair for the two eight-team conferences.

The changes proposed by the NHL in this realignment format come as a result of those concerns from the NHLPA, the two sides negotiating for the past three weeks on finding a better solution for realignment.

The NHLPA wants to further address it with its players before consenting to it.

It all makes sense, but some of those divisions are just loaded. The Atlantic division is an absolutely stacked division. Detroit going to the East will be a strange adjustment. Overall, I kind of like it. Has an old school feel to it.

02-27-2013, 08:53 AM
Hmmm not sure how I feel about Detroit being in my team's division.

02-27-2013, 08:58 AM
Atlantic division will be the SEC of college football

02-27-2013, 09:00 AM
I think it will be great for the Wild.

Seems wrong for a Minnesota team not to be in the same division as Chicago. Right now the Wild have to travel so damn much and the games tend to be late it sort of sucks. With the new division they'll have less travel and the games will be on earlier here which is a plus for me. Mid-west division will also have several teams I'm more interested in watching as well.