NHL Realignment Becoming a Reality

The NHL was ready to approve a realignment plan last year, then it was scraped by the NHLPA, but with the new CBA in place it looks like a new blueprint is all but completed.

Here's the new proposed conferences…

Obviously, the big moves are Detroit and Columbus being relocated to the Eastern "side" with Winnipeg being put in their rightful place in the West.

Under this format the East would have two more teams than the West.

…i'm a big fan of the new conferences. Makes a lot of sense geographically. Really like the Red Wings in Conference 2. Their conference now has four Original Six teams, which can only be good for the game.

…i said this last year, but I absolutely love the Capitals back in the Rangers conference. They were such a huge rival when I was a kid. Always hated guys like Hatcher and Langway. Will be great to see Dubi and Anisimov more often also.

Here's a great look at the geography of the changes via SB Nation…

Here's how scheduling will breakdown…

As far as the playoffs go, the top three teams in each conference qualify, then two "Wild Card" teams will advance as well for eight teams on each side. Bob McKenzie at TSN breaks it down how Wild Cards will be seeded…

- Wild card team with fewest points gets seeded 4th vs division winner with highest points.

- Wild card team with most points would be 4th seed in division vs the second-ranked division winner. 2 vs 3 within division is constant.

…can't really imagine how teams or fans can complain about this setup. I guess the unbalance in conference teams, but to me it's not a big deal. This realignment addresses a lot of the current problems in the league and I'm hopeful the NHL and NHLPA approve it.

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