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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

SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80