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Report: Proposed playoff system has four wildcard teams

Feb 26, 2013, 12:29 PM EDT

2012 NHL Stanley Cup Final – Game Six Getty Images

In an attempt to address the issue of fairness, the NHL has proposed a new playoff system for next season’s realigned league.

Per TSN’s Bob McKenzie:

—- The top three teams in the two eight-team “Eastern” conferences would make the playoffs, with two wildcard teams from the remaining 10 teams qualifying as well.

—- The top three teams in the two seven-team “Western” conferences would make the playoffs, with two wildcard teams from the remaining eight teams qualifying as well.

Neither the NHLPA or the Board of Governors has signed off on the proposal, and whether the proposed system adequately addresses the fairness issue is debatable. After all, there will still be fewer teams for those in the seven-team conferences to beat out for a postseason spot.

Proposed realignment:

“Eastern Side”

Conference 1

Carolina
Columbus
New Jersey
New York Islanders
New York Rangers
Philadelphia
Pittsburgh
Washington

Conference 2

Boston
Buffalo
Detroit
Florida
Montreal
Ottawa
Tampa Bay
Toronto

“Western Side”

Conference 3

Chicago
Colorado
Dallas
Minnesota
Nashville
St. Louis
Winnipeg

Conference 4

Anaheim
Calgary
Edmonton
Los Angeles
Phoenix
San Jose
Vancouver

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