Feb 26, 2013, 3:15 PM EDT
In December of 2011, the NHL announced a “radical” realignment plan that split the league into four “conferences” as opposed to its current structure of two conferences with three divisions in each.
The NHLPA eventually scuttled the plan, citing concerns over travel as well as the fairness of the proposed playoff qualification system.
Now, TSN is reporting the latest realignment proposal is back to two conferences — Western and Eastern — with four divisions.
New York Islanders
New York Rangers
The playoff format calls for the top three teams in each division to earn post-season berths. The remaining four spots would go to wild-card teams, the top two records remaining in each conference. That means there’s a possibility five teams make it from one division and only three from another.
It would be divisional playoffs, not conference playoffs, so 1 vs. 4, 2 vs 3 in the first round. The two fourth seeds would be made up of the wild-card teams. The top division winner based on regular-season points in the standings would face off against the lower-ranked wild-card team. The other division winner would play the higher-ranked wild-card.
First-round winners then meet in second round in the division championship; Third round sees Pacific winner vs. Mid-West winner in Western Conference finals; Central winner versus Atlantic winner in Eastern Conference finals; Eastern and Western Conference champions meet in Stanley Cup finals.
The above plan still needs to be approved by the NHLPA and the NHL Board of Governors.
According to CBC’s Elliotte Friedman, if the plan goes ahead, the league and union will meet after the 2015-16 season, “or earlier if circumstances warrant,” (translation: if there’s expansion or relocation) to decide if the system needs to be altered.
As for the regular-season schedule, Friedman reports:
It depends on whether you’re in a seven- or eight-team conference.
For the sevens (Midwest and Pacific) it looks like this:
- 32 games vs. Eastern Conference (one home, one away vs. each opponent).
- 21 games vs. other division in Western Conference (teams with the extra home game will be rotated every season).
- 29 games vs. own division (you will play one team four times instead of five).
For the eights (Atlantic and Central), it looks like this:
- 28 games vs. Western Conference (one home, one away).
- 24 games vs. other division in Eastern Conference (teams with the extra home game will be rotated every season).
- 30 games vs. own division (you’ll play two teams five times, and five teams four times).
May 24, 2013, 2:11 PM EDT
Say hello to Curtis McElhinney.
May 24, 2013, 2:08 PM EDT
Torts not expected to make any lineup changes.
May 24, 2013, 1:51 PM EDT
Rangers’ blueliner saw plenty of action in Game 4, though.
May 24, 2013, 1:31 PM EDT
If so, do you like it?
May 24, 2013, 1:12 PM EDT
He was Guy Boucher’s right-hand man, so no huge surprise.
May 24, 2013, 12:59 PM EDT
The postgame comment that just won’t go away.
May 24, 2013, 12:40 PM EDT
The Red Wings’ star may go back to Russia after next season.
May 24, 2013, 11:48 AM EDT
Back in Vegas next year.
May 24, 2013, 11:15 AM EDT
Rare criticism for the Blackhawks’ captain.
May 24, 2013, 10:36 AM EDT
SKA Saint Petersburg would be the club.
May 24, 2013, 9:52 AM EDT
“(He’s) a hell of a hockey player.”
May 24, 2013, 9:02 AM EDT
He’s excited about the Avalanche’s future, but he also has other considerations.
May 24, 2013, 8:06 AM EDT
The match will start at 7:30 p.m. ET.
May 24, 2013, 7:16 AM EDT
Friday’s collection of links.
May 24, 2013, 3:04 AM EDT
Typically, this is called.
May 24, 2013, 2:46 AM EDT
On the brink of elimination.
May 24, 2013, 2:28 AM EDT
Remember when he took the blame for first two losses against St. Louis?
May 24, 2013, 2:01 AM EDT
Second goal in 27 games.
May 24, 2013, 1:24 AM EDT
Home team has won every game in this series.
May 24, 2013, 12:28 AM EDT
“Something’s got to give,” Jonathan Toews said.
- Playoffs Tonight: Penguins aim to finish off Senators 13
- Kings’ Quick ‘didn’t have to work hard’ in shutout win over Sharks 7
- Discuss: Kings dominate Game 5, one win away from Western Conference final 20
- Discuss: Red Wings take 3-1 series lead 59
- Discuss: Rangers stay alive with OT win 84
- What they’re saying about the Avs hiring Patrick Roy 7
- It’s official: Colorado names Roy sixth head coach in franchise history 52
- Couture accuses Kings captain Brown of diving 38
- Three reasons why the Rangers might buy out Richards 26
- Richards made a healthy scratch for Game 4 35
- Report: NHLPA director Fehr wants to address issue of fighting (113)
- Question for commenters: What, if anything, needs to be done about the officiating? (101)
- Discuss: Bruins rally in third, take 3-0 series lead (99)
- Discuss: Detroit takes 2-1 series lead vs. Chicago (95)
- Video: Crosby scores hat trick, hits playoff milestone against Senators (91)
- Live Extra: Watch coverage of Carb Day at Indy
- PHT: Senators fight for playoff lives in Game 5
- Struggling Blackhawks on brink of elimination
- PHT: Wings push Blackhawks to brink | Highlights
- PHT: Kreider keeps Rangers alive | Highlights
- PHT: Kings defend home ice, up 3-2 | Highlights
- PBT: Hibbert says Battier's knee to groin intentional