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Realignment plan on hold, NHLPA withholds consent

Jan 6, 2012, 7:45 PM EDT


A Friday evening press release from the NHL? What could it be?

Yeah, no biggie – except that whole realignment plan is off because the NHLPA refused to provide its consent.

“It is unfortunate that the NHLPA has unreasonably refused to approve a plan that an overwhelming majority of our clubs voted to support, and that has received such widespread support from our fans and other members of the hockey community, including players,” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement. “We have now spent the better part of four weeks attempting to satisfy the NHLPA’s purported concerns with the plan with no success. Because we have already been forced to delay, and as a result are already late in beginning the process of preparing next season’s schedule, we have no choice but to abandon our intention to implement the realignment plan and modified playoff format for next season.”

“We believe the union acted unreasonably in violation of the league’s rights. We intend to evaluate all of our available legal options and to pursue adequate remedies, as appropriate.”

Note that Daly used the word “unreasonably” twice. That’s because the CBA reportedly says the NHLPA can’t unreasonably withhold consent to the realignment plan.

So…some questions to ask going forward:

Why is the union withholding consent? (Update: because of extra travel and playoff structure.)

Is the union being reasonable or unreasonable?

Who decides if the union’s being reasonable or unreasonable?

Is this all just posturing ahead of the upcoming CBA negotiations?

Why am I always wrong?


Realignment on hold — NHLPA concerned with travel and playoff structure

Minnesota owner “disappointed” with rejected realignment

What they’re saying about NHLPA rejecting realignment

NHLPA head Donald Fehr’s statement

  1. t16rich - Jan 6, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    They should really solve Phoenix and its true future location and more importantly a new CBA before reallignment gets dealt with.

  2. murtdurt - Jan 6, 2012 at 7:57 PM

    This is the best thing the nhlpa could have done. I don’t know what fans bill daly has talked to but the numerous hockey fans I’ve talked to about it can’t stand the realignment. It was just another poorly thought out move for Bettman to keep the 10 people who allow him to keep his job happy.

  3. drewsylvania - Jan 6, 2012 at 7:57 PM

    I don’t see how realignment would really impact the players too much.

    Looks like posturing to me. Dumb posturing.

  4. cowboys282 - Jan 6, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    Well thats disappointing. The NHL should be all about division play and now we have to wait another year. Like usual It’s the fans who lose out.

  5. bcjim - Jan 6, 2012 at 8:06 PM

    Suits me, I’d rather the Capitals play in the SE than in any other rejiggered setup. Sure I’d like to play the old rivals more often, but I’d rather we stamp our playoff ticket with as little drama as possible.

    • phillyphever - Jan 6, 2012 at 8:39 PM

      So basically you’re scared about joining up with the big boys (Philly, Pitt, NYR) eh?

  6. canuckinamerica - Jan 6, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    Uh oh. Ca commence. It is going to get ugly. Bring in a baseball guy who effectively shut the league down once……should have seen this coming.

  7. stakex - Jan 6, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    The NHLPA is taking hostages for the collective barganing fight in the coming months… this can’t be a good thing.

  8. rgledz - Jan 6, 2012 at 9:39 PM


    I don’t know who you’re talking to about realignment, but I would guess that it’s a bunch of east coast snobs. To say that no fans want realignment is insane. Talk to those of us in the middle of the country that can only watch our team play division games at 9pm because they’re all on the west coast. Most of the teams in the eastern conference can take busses and trains to the road games, where teams like the Wild have to go through 2 time zones to get to theirs. That’s why the travel issue is a load and so is your comment. How can it not make sense to have 7 teams in the same conference that are literally no more than 7 hours drive time? This way the east coast teams are still dealing with the cushy travel and the midwest teams can be playing at a fair level with the rest of the league. If you still believe what you say, try talking to me sometime.

  9. critter69 - Jan 6, 2012 at 10:23 PM


    As soon as you wrote “east coast snobs”, I stopped reading impartially, and tagged your comment with a down thumb.

    Your complaint about having to watch at 9:00 PM carries no pity from me, who has to wait until 10:00 PM or later for the San Francisco Giants to play home games, in-Division or not. And yes, I know that that is baseball, not hockey, but it is still the EXACT same principle (except there are 81 home games in baseball vs. 41 in hockey). Oh, and each season, the Giants also play several games in LA and San Diego (Pacific Time), and also in Phoenix and Denver (Mountain Standard and Mountain Daylight Time).

    Speaking of in-Division hockey games? Your West Coast division ‘partners’ have 5:00 PM start times for away games in Minnie (not 7:00 PM like you do). If they work to 5:30, then have a 45 minute to an hour commute home, do they miss part or most of the game, or leave work early?

    As to East Coast fans being able to travel to away games? Maybe some can’t for various reasons. You ASSume they can afford it, have ready transportation, etc. And maybe that’s not always the case. And maybe they don’t want to pay extremely excessive prices for the few remaining tickets at those away games (if any are available). Just because Minnie can’t sell out often doesn’t mean that is a truism for every team. (BTW – what are the current odds on the Vikings staying in Minnie? Isn’t one reason for moving said to be that the fans won’t support the Vikings? And how long is the current estimate for the Timberwolves staying in Minne? Longer than two years?)

  10. rgledz - Jan 6, 2012 at 11:44 PM


    What does any of your post have to do with the NHL realignment??? The WIld’s west coast games are division games smart guy, not just one or two trips a year like the out of division baseball travel that you speak of. The WIld are a Midwest team playing the the pacific division for God’s sake! You talk about west coast teams that have 5pm road game start times and say “not like the 7pm like you do”. Did you read my post?? We don’t have 7pm starts for road games, most of them start at 9pm. I can see you’re a little slow so I’ll repeat it. Most of our road games start at 9pm. Our home games start at 7pm like every other team in the NHL’s home games! Another clear sign that you didn’t read my post is that I’m not talking about fan travel buddy, I’m talking about team travel. East coast teams can play on the road and be home before midnight. Our road games get done around midnight and the flight home gets the team home around 3am, so they can turn around and play a game later that day. Let a team in the East play in the pacific division for one season and see how it affects things. By the way, short of a few games this year, the WIld have sold out every home game since they entered the league more than 10 years ago. As for the Vikings, I guaruntee they’ll be here for many years to come and oh….by the way…..they’ve sold out every home game since 1997. The Timberwolves…….they have a lease here for another 20 years so I’d say they’ll be here for a while. Not that any of that has anything to do with NHL realignment, but I thought I’d produce that information for a slow guy like yourself.

  11. critter69 - Jan 7, 2012 at 5:46 PM


    “Most of our road games start at 9pm”

    At least your road games are somewhat consistent on starting time. When East Coast teams go on the road, those games can start at 7:00 PM, or 8:00 PM, or 9:00 PM or 10:00 PM. Up to a three hour difference? And you are complaining about a two hour difference? And when your road games are to the East, it is a one hour difference.

    And as to me being ‘a slow guy’, maybe you missed my sentence reading “And yes, I know that that is baseball, not hockey, but it is still the EXACT same principle (except there are 81 home games in baseball vs. 41 in hockey).” I acknowledged a difference, but you apparently didn’t see that sentence, or if you did, you totally ignored it.

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