The NHL is planning on realigning its divisions next year, though it has yet to give any specifics as to how it will realign and which teams will be where.
So perhaps Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold was supposed to stay mum on the issues when he appeared on KFAN in Minneapolis on the Paul Allen Show and basically told everyone what the brand-new Central Division will look like and what kind of changes are in store (audio here, discussion at 21 minute mark, H/T: ProHockeyTalk).
Our division would include the Winnipeg Jets, us, the Blues, the Nashville Predators, the Dallas Stars, Chicago Blackhawks, and maybe the Columbus Blue Jackets… maybe not depending on if they go east or west. I am all in favor of that. I think that is a grand slam, home run, hat trick for our team.
We’re all Central Division now. All of our teams, except for Columbus, all of our teams will be Central Division. We’ll play less teams in Canada. We will play every team home and away at least one time.
If true, the first thing you might notice is that the Detroit Red Wings are not in the Central. That would mean the Red Wings and the Blackhawks would be in different divisions, which seems strange.
Another thing to notice, if we assume this is true and that Detroit is heading East, the Pacific Division should look a little something like Anaheim, Calgary, Colorado, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Jose and Vancouver.
Of course, remember this is hearsay until the NHL officially announces it. But it does shed some light on how the league is thinking in terms of teams and scheduling.
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