The NHL Players Association does have a say in how the league realigns, and as the Board of Governors has recommended a dramatic shift to a four-conference system, there's still that little wrinkle to work out.
Via the Globe & Mail, here's a statement from NHLPA spokesman Jonathan Weatherdon on Monday evening:
"Realignment requires an agreement between the league and the NHLPA. We look forward to continuing our discussions with the league regarding this matter."
Simple enough. Gary Bettman told the media assembled in Pebble Beach, Calif. that he's spoken to the players' union and that they've yet to sign off on the plan, but that really just seems like a formality at this point.
Overall, the plan dramatically helps the players. Sure, some players on Eastern teams will have to travel a bit more, but on the whole, the new system balances travel to the point where the majority of players should be in favor of it. Just as the majority of teams were apparently in favor of it.
There's no reason to think the NHLPA would vote against this realignment.
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