NHL realignment: Playoff format proposal features 4 wild card teams

Bruce Bennett

The NHL has proposed a new realignment structure, which would feature four Wild Card teams.

The NHL's most recent realignment proposal features a playoff system that would have four wild card teams, according to Bob McKenzie of TSN on Tuesday afternoon.

McKenzie reports that the top-three teams in each conference would qualify for the postseason. As it currently stands, the NHL is proposing two, eight team conferences in the East and two, seven team conferences in the West. Under this proposal, two wild card teams would emerge from the remaining 10 teams who did not qualify for the postseason in the two Eastern Conferences, while two wild card teams would emerge from the eight teams who didn't make the playoffs in the Western Conferences.

The playoff structure would operate in intra-conference match-ups, with the top seed facing the fourth seed and the second seed facing the third seed.

As of Tuesday, the NHL Board of Governors and NHL Players's Association have yet to vote on the proposal. In order for it to pass, both groups will have to approve it.

The NHLPA originally declined the previous realignment structure, which featured four conferences, because of the imbalance in team's chances to make the postseason due to the uneven conferences.

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Naming the new NHL divisions

NHL to institute a coach's challenge?

"Gonna catch you with your head down"

John Tortorella’s not going anywhere

NHL realignment proposal a dream for television

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