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NHL Realignment: Detroit Red Wings To Join Eastern Conference Next Season, Says Owner

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The Detroit Red Wings will be a member of the Eastern Conference when the NHL realigns for the 2012-13 season, according to somebody who would be in a position to divulge such information: the owner of the team.

Via an interview with Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch in The Detroit News:

"The commissioner (Gary Bettman) promised me I was next. We even had a meeting over lunch this past season, and he had all his people here, and he goes, 'Yeah, I promised Mike he'd be the next one to go in the Eastern Conference.' So I expect to be in next year. Jimmy D (Devellano) is on the phone every other week reminding them."

Devellano is the Senior Vice President of the Red Wings. A Detroit move to the Eastern Conference is not necessarily unexpected, as we've known about their desire to move for some time now, but it certainly will ruffle some feathers. And we don't mean that as a Chicago Blackhawks pun. (Okay, yes we do.)

The balance of power in the NHL will distinctly shift with the Red Wings coming East and the Winnipeg Jets shifting to the West next season, if that indeed is the only change that occurs. The NHL Board of Governors has discussed realignment recently and they're expected to finalize some decisions by the end of the 2010 calendar year.

H/T: Craig Custance