Here is the NHL’s realignment plan; pending NHLPA approval

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Apologies for the font. Here is the release from the NHL: 

 BOARD OF GOVERNORS APPROVES FOUR-CONFERENCE FORMAT Authorizes Commissioner To Implement, Pending Input From NHL Players' Association

      PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (Dec. 5, 2011) -- The National Hockey League
Board of Governors tonight approved a four-Conference alignment format and
authorized Commissioner Gary Bettman to implement this proposal, pending
input from the National Hockey League Players' Association. The format
would create two eight-team Conferences and two seven-team conferences.

      Under the format, every team would play every other team outside its
conference twice -- once home, once away.

      In the seven-team Conferences, teams would play six times -- three
home, three away. In the eight-team Conferences, teams would play either
five or six times in a season on a rotating basis; three teams would play
each other six times and four teams would play each other five times. This
process would reverse each season: An eight-team Conference member that
plays an opponent six times in one season would play it five times the
following season.

      The top four teams in each Conference qualify for the Stanley Cup
Playoffs. The first-place team would play the fourth-place team; the
second-place team would play the third-place team. The four respective
Conference champions would meet in the third round of the Playoffs, with
the survivors playing for the Stanley Cup.

      The Conference format:

             CONF. A       CONF. B      CONF. C     CONF. D
             Anaheim       Chicago      Boston      Carolina
             Calgary       Columbus     Buffalo     NJ Devils
             Colorado      Dallas       Florida     NY Islanders
             Edmonton      Detroit      Montreal    NY Rangers
             Los Angeles   Minnesota    Ottawa      Philadelphia
             Phoenix       Nashville    Tampa Bay   Pittsburgh
             San Jose      St. Louis    Toronto     Washington
             Vancouver     Winnipeg

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64 Comments

  1. rangers just did not pressure there d, poor passing, and they dug to big a hole. happens. will happen 15 more times or more this season.

    the rangers out played them last 7 minutes of 2nd and 3rd period by then it was to late and toronto just held on.

    overall c- effort by the blueshirts. I hate the white jerseys at home BTW.

  2. I think it’s idiotic. I see no reason for something this drastic. Haven’t we done this before?

    Is this all simply because Atlanta (surprise!) couldn’t support an NHL franchise (again)?

    Going to be lousy third- and fourth-place teams in the playoffs from one conference, and very good fifth- and sixth-place teams out of the playoffs from another conference, guaranteed.

    And I cannot believe the league’s GMs/governors signed off on this. Why?

  3. and who’s Catp?

    Also, I think Tortorella should be fired for not playing Avery more in this game. If he had, they would have won easily.

  4. 36 of 82 games against teams in our conf then a two rounds of playoffs. essentially you could guarantee 13 games in one year vs pitt if we played them in a 7 game series. where as now in east conf you may not have to play them should they get knocked off by say a buffalo.

    teams like toronto montreal buffalo boston all teams we root against now next year they dont mean anything to us anymore except when they play our conf.

    a boston montreal game i would normally have a rooting interest next year and beyond it means nothing from a ranger perspective.

  5. Easy, Carp. They see $$$$$

    It’s a lot easier to expand the league when there are 4 conferences….unfortunately we need less teams, not more…

  6. nothing has changed, instead of the rangers fighting for the eight spot they will fight for the 4th spot.

  7. assuming pens caps flyers are 1-3 mark my words the rangers/devils who ever finishes 5th and misses playoffs has more points then most 4th place teams

  8. It is surprising that 26 out of 30 teams approved it though. And the teams in the West have statistically less chances of making the playoffs altogether.

  9. I hope the PA shoots this stupid idea down, its not the right way to go about it since the BOG is totally out of touch with reality and thinks its 1985 all over again with the top 4 in each conference getting in to the playoffs??? So another NBAesque gimmick thrust upon us by our inept commissioner and his band of merry men as they continue to ruin this league.

  10. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    Funny, but at ESPN it is listed as a “radical” realignment plan. Right, like friggin’ mini-divisions are the norm when all they do is give the illusion that crappy, bottom-feeder teams are at least mediocre. Real step forward, NHL, proud of you for taking this direction. Just wish we had an orginial-six team such as Boston in our new conference, instead of Carolina which should be in with Tampa and Miami.

    Good job, NHL, nevertheless, and thanks. Maybe other positive changes to be implemented, as well. I say this is the crowning achievement of Bettman’s tenure at the top, because I cannot find one other positive change he has overseen in all his time with the league. Will wonders ever cease?

  11. Good night, Catp!

    For once I actually have to agree with ORR… Lets go METALLURG! Clap clap clapclapclap!

  12. maybe it’s a way to further entrench
    parity, especially for the lesser clubs
    gives them and fans
    a sense of hope that
    if they just get hot at the right moment
    anything can happen

  13. btw,
    as far as Sauer hit
    i was angry at that point in the game
    with the bad overall play
    non-calls
    etc etc etc

    i only saw one replay and it did look like
    sloppy seconds caught Sauer’s head

    the end
    we lost
    i’m done
    moving on

  14. Are they going to name the conferences or are they going to remain simple so Bettman can understand them easier?

  15. It’s all about the money, Carp. That is all this league is about. Frankly, I’m surprised the Pens weren’t placed in their own division and have to play any games at all. Thought they would have an automatic bid into the top seed every season.

  16. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    Just now reading above contributions, had no idea this would not be met with universal praise and endorsement. You like baseball’s crappy little divisions? You like football having just six of sixteen regular season games between divisional rivals? I guess so, but friends, more is at stake anytime two teams in the same division play head on. The games are MORE MEANINGFUL with direct compettiion. Are you not tired of the Rangers faking it and going through the motions so often from a fatiguing travel schedule chock full of non-divionsional rivals? I used to attend their games in LA when I lived there, and man, did they dog it, and so embarrassingly. You cannot do that vs. direct rivals. We are going to get a more consistent and better hockey product for our money.

    Trust me, you WILL warm up to this new and I say vastly improved alignment. We have just gotten so far away from sensibility in sports structure, I know, it’s hard to even recognize it anymore.

    Thank you Bettman, for the first and probably last time I will say that.

  17. At first glance, I don’t like the realignment…..if we could have gotten the Pens out of our “division” I would have liked it a lot better – Pens, Flys, Caps, Debbies…..I mean, aside from the Fishsticks, there really isn’t a “weak” team in the division…..

    I’d rather have one of the Eastern Canadian teams in our division – there isn’t a single one in it, as proposed.

  18. The oldest Original Six team in each division should automatically get a playoff position – I’d like that arrangement!! ;-D

  19. More like the snow shovel and the winter coat…. Oh wait, I’m a NYer, snow doesn’t scare me like it does to people here.

  20. I like that we play a home-and-home against every team in the league. I think that just feels right in theory (assuming other scheduling considerations allow it).

    My big question is having Tampa and Florida in a division with all the northern-most teams. Seems like Washington and Carolina should be moved down with them, since they’re the closest geographically (trade for some Canadians or something). Maybe toss Nashville in there too.

  21. Wait, is this some sort of joke?

    First, it’s EXTREMELY unfair for the teams with 8 in each conference.

    Second, they’re just lumping all the big markets together and all the small markets together (with the exception of Carolina/Boston). As Carp said, the #6 team in one division will be a lot better than the #4 in another.

    Third, the Stanley Cup no longer sports the best from each Conference. It’s more of a “Final Four.” I guess this ain’t so bad, I just don’t see the point.

    Fourth, it actually increases the amount of games that simply don’t matter (46 as opposed to 10). This means more dogging for Bonus Points.

    Fifith, it’s also worse for travel schedules because you play every team across the US at least once in their rink, as opposed to doing that only 5 times like the current system.

  22. ThisYearsModel on

    Can’t win them all. Of course, beginning next year, can’t SEE the Bruins, Habs, Leaves, Sabres more than once per season at MSG unless you see them in the semifinals or finals. And when one of the “sun belt” teams that spend just to the cap floor make it to the playoffs with 15 less points, what then? The garden will be dead most nights as the Rangers host teams nobody cares about. Ranger fans living in any of thise cities and in FL get hosed too.

  23. Paul in sunrise on

    Florida teams need the Canuck teams based on the migration of our northern friends. They I am sure opted for it. Sell outs in sunrise are for rangers bruins Canadians and leafs. They got three of four. He’ll they draw better for Calgary than Carolina.

    The top four in each division only worked when there were five teams in each division.

    Cannot complain. If rangers are worthy to win a cup they will be top four. Cannot be fringe forever.

  24. don’t have a big problem with the realignment but why do you play the teams outside your conference 10 more times than the teams in your conference?

  25. one would think C and D are each going to get another team before too long. I’m sure Bettman’s looking at some nonsensical markets like Providence and Dover, though.

  26. Absolutely hate this realignment crap. Surprised Bettman didn’t name one of the conferences “Crosby87″

  27. Bob the Builder on

    Looks pretty horrible at first impression. I really like the current playoff set up. What is so wrong with that, that this drastic of a change needs to be made.

  28. Bob the Builder on

    Also, how does this make it any fairer for lesser teams to be competitive? You already have a spending cap in place. Its not like one team can buy up every single good player baseball style.

  29. Big change is coming, eh? Though, I like the idea of semis between east and west and potentially two east or two west teams playing for the cup.

  30. Carp, help me out here… If there are going to be four of these things, why conferences? What’s wrong with divisions? Does any league have more than two conferences? Why the need to reinvent the wheel?

    Also, if anything is changed, shouldn’t the first order of business be to restore the old conference and divisible names?

    As you say, problem with this format is lack of equity in terms of qualifying for postseason.

  31. In regards to the Rangers making the post season once they do this realignment- how do you guys feel about the fact that the top 4 teams make it. That means we wont see NYR, NJ, Wash, Pitt and Philly all in the post season at once even if they’re 5 of the top teams in the league. Where do we rank?

  32. This is absolutely horrible and will essentially ruin the Rangers chances of winning a Cup. Forcing the Rangers to play the Penguins in either the first or second round is just unfair.

    We need to pray this doesn’t happen…

  33. Now if you had the top 2 in each conference and then have 4 wildcards to form an East – West for the playoffs then I could be on board.

    Guaranteeing playoff spots per conference is not fair and will lead to good teams missing out and bad teams getting in.

  34. Come to think of it? Why would the teams vote on this????? Every teams odds of making the playoffs go down which means less opportunity for home playoff games.

    This is the worst thing to happen to the NHL in my lifetime…

  35. never liked that old system in the playoffs
    thought it was more boring because it was usually
    the same teams playing each other again and again and
    again and again and…

    the idea that it builds rivalries is a load of carcillo
    because a lot of rivalries are established
    without teams playing each other all the time in the playoffs.
    in fact playing different teams allows for additional rivalries
    to be established.

    okay
    moving on.

  36. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    “EVERY team’s odds (you mean chances for, not odds against) of making the playoffs GO DOWN.”

    How the hell can EVERY team’s chances of making the post-season be decreased? Fuzzy math carries the day, again.

  37. That means less Rangers-Flyers/Islanders/Devils games per year in favor of more games against the Western conference. It makes a Rangers Canadiens/Bruins/Leafs game exactly the same importance as a Sharks/Ducks/Coyotes game.

    Out of all the things I’ve ever heard this is the worst piece of Carcillo system.

  38. not really getting the reasoning behind the “this ruins rivalries” mentality

    you’ve still got to finish top 4 in your conference, so you’ll naturally want to win the games you have against conference rivals since you do play them more than any other team in the league. I just don’t quite get why there are more overall games against teams outside your conference.

  39. Jeez – thats a lot more complicated than a simple Nashville or Detroit for Winipeg swap. Why the need to reinvent the wheel? 30 goes much better into 6 than 4.

    It sounds like they want to stick with all the previous promises made to GM’s:
    Not to split up Philly & Pitt rivalry
    Not to split up Chicago & Detroit
    More games in own time zones
    Only promise not kept is moving Detroit to the East but it looks like they will have less travel
    If Phx > Hamilton they will move to C or D presumably?

    The one positive is that everyone plays everyone at least twice, so you get to see all 29 teams in your own building each year.

    When do we find out names? When its ratified by the NHLPA?
    What do we reckon, something dull? Pacific, Atlantic, East, West?

  40. I strongly felt that Salt Lake City and Fairbanks should have NHL teams….

    Then I screwed my head on straight….

    More teams = more parity = more complaining = more misery….

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