NHL approves realignment, playoff format

FRANK PINGUE
Last updated 08:40 15/03/2013

Relevant offers

Other Sports

WADA takes 3,000 Russian samples for testing - minister No Christmas Day cheer for Sydney-Hobart boat Wild Oats XI Independent report takes aim at Boxing New Zealand Cup-stacking brothers aim to defend world title Russian coach Vladimir Kazarin to sue over TV doping claims Former Klitschkos coach Fritz Sdunek dies at 67 NFL domestic violence issues voted AP's story of the year Joelle King's squash comeback gathers pace Canoeing review: Kiwi duo's medal haul marks fine 2014 Sailing review: Peter Burling and Blair Tuke earn rock star status in 2014

The National Hockey League's (NHL) Board of Governors have approved a realignment plan, starting next season.

The realignment features a more geographically friendly setup, a new playoff format and the promise of more intense rivalries.

The plan, to be re-evaluated by the NHL and NHL Players' Association after the 2015-16 campaign, realigns the league into a two-conference, four-division format, featuring 16 teams in the Eastern Conference and 14 teams in the Western Conference.

"The new alignment will place several clubs in more geographically appropriate groupings and will intensify already-fierce rivalries throughout the league," the NHL said in a statement today.

The Detroit Red Wings and Columbus Blue Jackets will move to the Eastern Conference while the Winnipeg Jets jump to the Western Conference.

The Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche will remain in the Western Conference but play in divisions the NHL said were "more geographically appropriate and time-zone friendly."

The realignment plan also ensures that all 30 teams play in all 30 arenas at least once a season.

The Stanley Cup playoffs will still consist of 16 teams but the NHL is introducing a wild-card system.

Under the new format, the first 12 postseason berths go to the top three finishers in each division while remaining playoff spots in each conference, designated as "wild cards," will go to the next two highest-placed finishers in each conference.

The NHL currently has six divisions across two conferences where division winners are seeded 1-3 for the playoffs based on their point records. The next five teams with the best records in the conference are seeded 4-8.

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers
Opinion poll

Will Shane Cameron beat Kali Meehan on Saturday?

For sure. Cameron will knock him out.

It will be close but I think Cameron on points.

Meehan will knock him out. This is his last fight.

I'm tipping Meehan to win on points.

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content