Feb 11, 2013, 4:08 PM EST
On Friday, the New York Post reported that the NHL and NHLPA would this week be discussing realignment for the 2013-14 season.
Today, Capitals player rep Jason Chimera underscored the importance of the league and union working together to find the best solution to a fairly complex issue.
“That’s all you ever want. As a player, when you play hockey you want a voice, you want to, you know, voice your opinions,” Chimera said, per the Washington Post.
“They realigned everything without our consent, so that was the biggest thing. I think it’s supposed to be a partnership and you want to have some say in some things and they just kind of threw it at us and said, ‘Here it is.’ And we didn’t have no say in it, so I think they’re working together on it now, which is good, and I think – you know, everything, like you said, this game we should be building things together now.”
The NHL announced its “radical” realignment plan in December of 2011. The union, however, withheld its consent of the changes, citing concerns over travel as well as the fairness of the proposed playoff qualification system.
A looming labor battle also likely played a role in the union’s choice to block the league’s unilateral decision to split the NHL into four “conferences.”
How the two sides plan to address the fairness issue is unclear. Under the NHL’s plan, the top four teams in each conference would make the postseason. The problem is, two conferences have eight teams and the other two only have seven.
“We expect to talk with the league on the subject this week,” NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr told the Post. “A year ago, when we raised the issue of increased travel for teams, the league did not have mock schedules for us to review that might have alleviated our concern.
“And we had an issue with the fact that teams would either have a mathematical advantage or disadvantage of qualifying for the playoffs depending upon whether they’d be in a seven-team or eight-team conference.”
The four proposed conferences are as follows:
—- New Jersey, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New York Rangers, New York Islanders, Washington and Carolina
—- Boston, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Buffalo, Florida and Tampa Bay
—- Detroit, Columbus, Nashville, St. Louis, Chicago, Minnesota, Dallas and Winnipeg
—- Los Angeles, Anaheim, Phoenix, San Jose, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Colorado
- Flyers’ Couturier: ‘We’re starting to believe in ourselves’ 10
- Columbus puts Bobrovsky (groin) on IR, out 4-5 weeks 1
- The Chip ‘n’ Chase: Olympic odds, Russia’s defense, King Henrik’s new deal, Fire Cappy? and more 27
- With Lundqvist deal done, Sather faces tough questions 11
- King of New York: Rangers sign Lundqvist to seven-year, $59.5 million extension 40
- Lehtonen shines, Roussel agitates as Stars beat ‘Hawks 52
- Report: NHL set to finally pay Gretzky at least $7M 15
- Kadri out as falling Leafs start tough stretch vs. Sharks 9
- Wounded Wings: Zetterberg (back) out, joins Datsyuk on shelf 7
- Burrows out with broken jaw (Update: expected to miss at least four weeks) 22
- Video: Canucks’ Bieksa fights Rangers’ Boyle, then kicks Boyle’s helmet (52)
- Lehtonen shines, Roussel agitates as Stars beat ‘Hawks (52)
- King of New York: Rangers sign Lundqvist to seven-year, $59.5 million extension (40)
- Panthers announced attendance Tuesday night lowest since 2008 (37)
- Islanders embarrassed in fifth consecutive loss (33)