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Governors adopt realignment plan

Wings stay in Central, add Jets, Wild and Stars to conference

Monday, 12.5.2011 / 10:00 PM ET / News
By Dan Rosen  - NHL.com Senior Writer
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Governors adopt realignment plan
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- The NHL's Board of Governors on Monday approved a radical realignment plan, eliminating the current two-conference, six-division setup in favor of a configuration that features four conferences based primarily on geography. Two conferences will have eight teams and the other two conferences will have seven teams.

The Board authorized Commissioner Gary Bettman to implement this proposal in Monday evening's vote, pending input from the National Hockey League Players' Association.

The vote, which required a two-thirds majority of the League's 30 governors, passed on the first of two days of meetings here at The Inn at Spanish Bay. The league's new structure will go into effect starting next season.

The makeup of the yet-to-be-named four conferences is as follows:

* New Jersey, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New York Rangers, New York Islanders, Washington and Carolina

* Boston, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Buffalo, Florida and Tampa Bay

* Detroit, Columbus, Nashville, St. Louis, Chicago, Minnesota, Dallas and Winnipeg

* Los Angeles, Anaheim, Phoenix, San Jose, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Colorado

The four conferences are designed to alleviate geographic concerns among several current Western Conference teams that had been unhappy about their extensive travel through one, two, and sometimes even three time zones. Some of those teams argued that the late start of road games in the Pacific Time Zone were affecting fan interest, especially among younger fans.  

The new alignment also enables the NHL to create a balanced schedule in which all teams will play each other at least twice every season, once at home and once on the road, giving fans a chance to see every team and superstar in the league. The remaining games will be played within the conferences.

In the seven-team conferences, teams would play six times -- three home, three away. In the eight-team conferences, teams would play either five or six times in a season on a rotating basis; three teams would play each other six times and four teams would play each other five times. This process would reverse each season: An eight-team conference member that plays an opponent six times in one season would play it five times the following season.

The top four teams in each conference qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs. The first-place team would play the fourth-place team; the second-place team would play the third-place team. The four respective conference champions would meet in the third round of the playoffs, with the survivors playing for the Stanley Cup.



Author: Dan Rosen | NHL.com Senior Writer

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 52 39 9 4 171 117 82
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 54 31 18 5 153 135 67
4 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
5 DET 54 28 18 8 136 132 64
6 BOS 54 29 19 6 153 146 64
7 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
8 PIT 53 27 19 7 138 135 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 PHI 53 24 20 9 127 138 57
12 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
15 BUF 55 21 28 6 125 151 48
16 TOR 52 19 24 9 120 144 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 53 18 20 26 38
H. Zetterberg 54 10 27 4 37
T. Tatar 53 16 17 0 33
G. Nyquist 54 14 16 0 30
P. Datsyuk 39 8 21 13 29
J. Abdelkader 54 14 13 -3 27
M. Green 46 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 40 5 11 7 16
D. DeKeyser 50 7 8 13 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 21 10 4 .934 1.94
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89