NHL realignment: League plan still calls for four conferences

Christian Petersen

The NHL is hoping to have a new realignment agreement in place within the next two weeks. The league is still interested in using a four-conference format.

The NHL is hoping to resolve the realignment issue that was caused by the relocation of the Winnipeg Jets in the near future.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly stated on Wednesday afternoon that the league hopes to resolve the realignment structure for next season within the next two weeks.

In December of 2011, the league had proposed a restructuring from a four-division, two-conference format to a four-conference structure. This would see the two 15-team conferences currently in place cut into two seven-team conferences and two eight-team conferences.

The top four teams in each conference would face each other in two rounds of playoffs until four conference champions were crowned.

While the league passed the concept, the NHL Players Association rejected it on the basis that some teams would have better chances than others to earn a playoff berth due to the uneven structuring of the conferences.

According to Daly, the league has implemented a slight variation upon the proposal from December of 2011, but the four-conference structure still remains. According to Pierre LeBrun, that slight alteration could mean that some teams have been moved from the original proposal.

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