Jul 19, 2013, 1:23 PM EST
Beginning next season, the realigned NHL will have a decidedly new look — and new division names.
On Friday, the league announced the Western Conference would be comprised of two divisions, Pacific and Central, while the Eastern Conference would be made up of two as well: Atlantic and Metropolitan.
|WESTERN CONFERENCE||EASTERN CONFERENCE|
|Pacific Division||Central Division||Metropolitan Division
|Los Angeles||Minnesota||NY Islanders||Florida|
|San Jose||St. Louis||Philadelphia||Ottawa|
Described as “more geographically-appropriate groupings,” the four new divisions will ensure that all 30 teams play in all 30 arenas at least once per season.
As for the playoff format, here’s more from NHL.com:
Playoff qualification will be primarily Division-based, with the top three finishers in each Division qualifying for the first 12 spots in the Stanley Cup Playoffs (and the first three “seeds” in each Division).
The two additional playoff spots in each Conference, designated as “Wild Cards,” will be awarded to the next two highest-placed finishers in each Conference, ranked on the basis of regular-season points and regardless of Division.
The League will play under this new alignment and playoff system for a minimum of three seasons, through the 2015-16 NHL season.
Under the previous alignment, the league was comprised of six five-team divisions.
Update: Here’s the NHL’s though process on naming the new divisions, as per ESPN.
Deputy commissioner Bill Daly said player names were considered for the division names but “dismissed rather quickly.”
“I don’t think there was any strong feeling that we needed to move away from geographic descriptors and orientations, which makes it easier for the fans to follow,” Daly wrote in a email.
“Also, while it’s the nature of any exclusive list, I’m not sure assigning division names to four all-time great players is fair to the all-time great players who would necessarily be excluded in that process.”
Jan 31, 2015, 10:11 AM EST
But he seems very reluctant on the matter.
Jan 31, 2015, 9:24 AM EST
Is that what’s best for Carolina in the long term?
Jan 31, 2015, 2:00 AM EST
Anaheim has now lost two straight in regulation for the first time since November.
Jan 31, 2015, 1:15 AM EST
Sabres conclude January with an 0-12-0 record.
Jan 31, 2015, 12:15 AM EST
Shattenkirk had the shootout winner.
Jan 30, 2015, 11:35 PM EST
He’s now tied with Dino Ciccarelli on the all-time points list.
Jan 30, 2015, 11:00 PM EST
Kris Letang has assisted on Pittsburgh’s last seven goals.
Jan 30, 2015, 10:15 PM EST
Mark Hunter has also been a rumored replacement.
Jan 30, 2015, 9:30 PM EST
He’s a restricted free agent after this season.
Jan 30, 2015, 8:45 PM EST
The 18-year-old is playing in his 3rd career AHL game tonight.
Jan 30, 2015, 8:00 PM EST
Was 6-0-0 in his previous seven appearances entering tonight.
Jan 30, 2015, 7:05 PM EST
It could happen at the World Cup though.
Jan 30, 2015, 5:16 PM EST
“We would be thrilled to have them play at our venue.”
Jan 30, 2015, 4:24 PM EST
Ville Pokka is a fun name.
Jan 30, 2015, 3:57 PM EST
Spent last season in Buffalo.
Jan 30, 2015, 3:37 PM EST
Oklahoma City and Worcester do not.
Jan 30, 2015, 3:26 PM EST
Key Western Conference tilt tonight at Honda.
Jan 30, 2015, 2:48 PM EST
Not that that’s likely. Just…possible.
Jan 30, 2015, 2:17 PM EST
News and notes from around the crease…
- Report: Rob Blake would be Brendan Shanahan’s first choice to replace Dave Nonis 5
- Bettman would be ‘kicking and screaming’ before NHL jerseys have ads 17
- Comparing the records of all 30 teams in the last two months 60
- Lightning ride Paquette’s first hat trick to Atlantic lead 8
- Price wins goalie duel vs. Lundqvist as Habs edge Rangers 4
- Leafs’ luck: Bernier gives up long distance goal, things unravel in third 20
- AHL announces new Pacific Division — who could go west next? 36
- Babcock didn’t think Wings would be ‘near where we’re at’ 16
- Brodeur announces retirement, leaves ‘the game with a big smile on my face’ 16
- NHL on NBCSN: Sharks’ ‘dog fight’ continues vs. red hot Ducks 5