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NHL Realignment Delayed After NHLPA Denies Consent

The National Hockey League announced today that it will not move forward with implementation of the Realignment Plan and modified Playoff Format recently approved by the NHL Board of Governors for the 2012-13 NHL season.

The NHLPA has refused to provide its consent to the deal, which signals what is likely the first battle in CBA talks between the league and the players. The current CBA expires after this season.

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly commented on the ordeal:

"It is unfortunate that the NHLPA has unreasonably refused to approve a Plan that an overwhelming majority of our Clubs voted to support, and that has received such widespread support from our fans and other members of the hockey community, including Players."

"We have now spent the better part of four weeks attempting to satisfy the NHLPA’s purported concerns with the Plan with no success. Because we have already been forced to delay, and as a result are already late in beginning the process of preparing next season’s schedule, we have no choice but to abandon our intention to implement the Realignment Plan and modified Playoff Format for next season."

"We believe the Union acted unreasonably in violation of the League’s rights. We intend to evaluate all of our available legal options and to pursue adequate remedies, as appropriate."

As a result of decision, the NHL will maintain its current alignment and Playoff Format for the 2012-13 season. Sorry about that, Winnipeg Jets.

For more on NHL realignment, keep up to date with this StoryStream.