NHL Realignment Talk


The below is from a collection of tweets by Bob McKenzie regarding NHL realignment.

“Remember, neither NHLPA nor NHL B of G have agreed to this yet. It’s still just a proposal. Top 3 teams in each of two 8-team East conferences make the playoffs. Two wild cards from remaining 10 East teams also make the playoffs. Top 3 teams in each of two 7-team West conferences make playoffs. Two wild cards from remaining 8 West teams also make the playoffs. Playoff format remains old divisional style, 1 vs. 4, 2 vs. 3 though it remains to be seen how the wild cards are slotted for first-round. I assume schedule matrix stays same as Dec/2011 proposal. Clubs in 7-team conf play 6×6 in conf (36), and home-and-away with other 23 (46). 8-team conferences also play home-and-away with 22 out of conf teams (44) but play either 5 or 6 games vs. conference rivals (38).

As for realignment, recognizing nothing is final yet, someone is going to have to explain the following to me regarding the playoff format: How’s having 2 wild card teams out of 10 in the East and 2 WC teams out of 8 in the West any different than previous inequity of 4/7 vs. 4/8. With such imbalanced in-conference sked, I’d much rather prefer keeping it 1 vs. 4, 2 vs. 3 within each conference. But that’s just me. This proposed realignment addresses two primary concerns: better travel for most teams/every team playing home and away against every team. In 30 team league, though, no way around so-called “inequity” of playoff format unless you sacrifice travel benefits in the first round.”

Pierre LeBrun via twitter:”According to NHL memo sent to 30 teams, no longer is the idea to go to 4 conferences, but rather 2 conferences with two divisions each”

Proposed conferences/divisions:

Conf. A Conf. B Conf. C Conf. D
Carolina Boston Chicago Anaheim
Columbus Buffalo Colorado Calgary
New Jersey Detroit Dallas Edmonton
NY Islanders Florida Minnesota Los Angeles
NY Rangers Montreal Nashville Phoenix
Philadelphia Ottawa St. Louis San Jose
Pittsburgh Tampa Bay Winnipeg Vancouver
Washington Toronto

In December of 2011, the NHL had come up with the below realignment plan, but the NHLPA did not approve of it.

Conf. A Conf. B Conf. C Conf. D
Anaheim Chicago Boston Carolina
Calgary Columbus Buffalo New Jersey
Colorado Dallas Florida New York Islanders
Edmonton Detroit Montreal New York Rangers
Los Angeles Minnesota Ottawa Philadelphia
Phoenix Nashville Tampa Bay Pittsburgh
San Jose St. Louis Toronto Washington
Vancouver Winnipeg
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