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Report: NHL introduces new realignment plan

Feb 23, 2013, 9:19 PM EDT

Henrik Zetterberg AP

The NHL has tweaked its four-conference realignment proposal and could hand it to the NHLPA in the near future, Hockey Night in Canada’s Elliotte Friedman reports.

Friedman mapped out the following setup during HNIC’s Hot Stove intermission report (teams that changed conferences from the last realignment plan in bold):

Proposed realignment

“Eastern Side”

Conference 1

New Jersey
New York Islanders
New York Rangers

Conference 2

Tampa Bay

“Western Side”

Conference 3

St. Louis

Conference 4

Los Angeles
San Jose

Word of the possible tweaks surfaced on Feb. 13. At that time, ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reported that the NHL’s owners could vote on the proposed changes as early as Monday (if all goes well, at least).

We’ll see if that timeline – and a number of other factors – have changed since then.

Keep in mind that this is a report, not an official announcement.


Realignment plan to be tweaked

The original realignment plan from Dec. 2011

Players want their opinions heard in realignment talks

126 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. baseballbarrister - Feb 24, 2013 at 8:53 PM

    Talk about a solution in search of a problem.

    The real solution is to move Nashville, Detroit, or Columbus to the east and move Winnipeg west. It’s really that simple.

    That said, if the NHL hadn’t turned its back on Atlanta, this wouldn’t be an issue at all.

  2. kvashasux - Feb 25, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    Like the re-alignment. Two issues with the playoffs: 1. Take the re-seeding one step further, after 1 vs. 4 and 2 vs. 3 in each conference, re-seed the remaining teams 1 thru 8. Teams shouldn’t mind the travel if they have already won one round. 2. Give the first place teams 5 potential home games in the first round. Why should a fourth place team get game six at home. Then, there would be a difference between 1st and 2nd place. If all 1st round matchups go 7 games, the 1st place team would get 5 home games, 2nd place team 4 home games, 3rd place teams 3 home games and 4th place team 2 home games. This makes where you place in the standings mean something, not “just make it in”.

    • tmoore4075 - Feb 25, 2013 at 2:58 PM

      I disagree. I think Detroit wanted to move to the “East” to avoid going to San Jose in round 2 again. The idea of the “divisional” playoffs was to cut down on travel and making it only one round doesn’t really help that much.

    • dieseldeej - Feb 25, 2013 at 6:17 PM

      Why should a team in the Eastern or Central Time zone play a team in the Pacific Time Zone in the 2nd round?…That was a MAJOR complaint of the Western Conference teams (especially Detroit and Columbus) in those zones

  3. Anthony Maiorana - Feb 25, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    Reblogged this on Evening the Score.

  4. tmoore4075 - Feb 25, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    As a Wings fan I love this. I will miss seeing the Blues and Hawks quite a bit but will still get to see them twice a year. This take the Wings games outside of their own timezone from 32 down to 14. Playoffs will be great too. I love my Wings but it’s tough staying up for 10:30 starts in the playoffs when I have to get up early for work or because my two year old son decides he wants to wake up early. I have to say I’m surprised by this though. When Lebrun said 2 teams were moving from the original proposal I sure didn’t think the Jackets AND the Wings.

    As someone mentioned it does seem to bring into question Quebec City and Markham. I mean I still believe they will expand, and very possibly to those 2 cities, so do the Jackets and Wings move back to the Central if that happens or do we get a new realignment plan in a few years? If the Coyotes move, which I still expect them to, it probably means Seattle would be the place.

  5. valiantdraws - Feb 25, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    Can someone please explain just why the two Florida teams continue to languish in a division with a bunch of Great Lakes teams? And Why isn’t Pittsburgh in with the Great Lakes Teams. It makes no sense.

    • tmoore4075 - Feb 25, 2013 at 4:51 PM

      In terms of location, you’re right it doesn’t make sense. But in terms of rivalries it does. You aren’t separating the NYC teams, which also means you aren’t taking Philly away from them either. So those 4 teams have to be in the same division/conference. You aren’t splitting up the Pens and Flyers so there’s 5 teams that have to stay together. They want the Caps and Pens to meet more than twice a years and the Jackets make sense in the Pens division. Carolina is just a throw-in since they are close to DC. FLA and TBL don’t fit anywhere else so they get lumped into the NE. Detroit also fits there because of Montreal and Toronto.

  6. dieseldeej - Feb 25, 2013 at 6:09 PM

    I like this idea except for the Florida teams…They should not be in the one they’re proposed to be…Why not put the 3 NYC teams in that conference for the Florida teams and say Buffalo?

    Hope the players from the now Eastern Conference will shut up about their increased travel, which was the main reason Fehr nixed the 2011 plan…Keep the schedule matrix because every team will play at least once in every arena

    If they adopt the 4-5 play-in for the 8 team conferences, make it 1 game like MLB put in place last season

    • tmoore4075 - Feb 26, 2013 at 9:27 AM

      I agree with everything except for the first part. Well I should say I know why the NHL didn’t do that. Rivalries out of the picture they could have split up the eastern teams better no doubt. But they weren’t breaking up the NYC teams from Philly being right across the border. Add to that they weren’t breaking up the Pens and Flyers to the Pens had to be with the NYC teams too. And I’m sure they wanted the Caps and Pens to play more than twice a year so the Caps go put in there too. Canes were added cause they were closer to DC and the Jackets make the most sense with the Pens. The Florida teams are sort of off by themselves after you put that “Atlantic” conference together. It’s actually probably good for the FLA teams because every time the Wings go down to Tampa and Sunrise the fans pack those places. So to be able to have them going there 3 times a year is huge. Plus the Canadian fans and Boston fans will flock down there as well. So while they don’t make sense in terms of location it should good for revenue.

  7. ussportsfanuk - Feb 28, 2013 at 3:59 PM

    I actually thought one of the main things that didn’t seem right in the last plan was the division that the Lightning and Panthers were put into. Its one of the few things they have actually kept!

    I know this new plan sorts out the division issue for the Jets but it looks a lot like it is helping some, maybe one, other team(s) a lot more!

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