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NHL realignment: Red Wings head East under proposed new plan

Nashville fans are rejoicing.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Throughout the lockout there were quiet grumblings that among many of the discussed proposals to the new CBA, conference realignment was not one of them.

Apparently realignment talks are back on the table, and Elliotte Friedman reports that the NHL and the NHLPA have been working on a scenario with four different conferences.

Screen_shot_2013-02-23_at_8

Screen_shot_2013-02-23_at_8

At first glance this seems to be a winner, especially for the western teams. Travel for the teams in the last two conferences will be much easier and the first two conferences retain most of the divisional and regional rivalries that exist currently. The uneven numbers (two seven team divisions, two eight team divisions) could make things complicated, however.

As for playoffs, Friedman reports that the two sides are discussing a sort of wild card for the two 8-team divisions. As James Mirtle points out, it's unclear how that sort of system would work.

We'll have much more on this proposed realignment soon. Meanwhile, here's some instant reaction from around Twitter:


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