Radical NHL Conference Realignment

Jack Corsi

You look at the NHL standings today and see 6 divisions, broken up pretty evenly and with teams of the respected conferences. Well hockey fans, the NHL is scrapping that concept and bringing in a brand new idea. The NHL will now go with 4 conferences broken up with 2 conferences having 8 teams and the other 2 having 7. This will lead to more rivalry based conferences and spotlight on some of the more major rivalries in the game.

The bonus to this realignment is the amount of travel the teams will have to deal with. Now with these “regional based” conferences, teams will have shorted distances to travel for games. For example the Dallas Stars will no longer be pained with having to travel to Edmonton and Vancouver, but will still have to deal with traveling to Winnipeg.

Now what it really comes down to is how will the playoffs be effected. The playoffs will start off inside the divisions, then continue on from there. Then we can actually see who the best 4 teams in the NHL are from this. While the Western Conference and Commissioner Gary Bettman are in favor for this, the only thing holding this back is the East. The Eastern Conference teams are the ones holding the deal back as of right now, but if Bettman can sway their opinions we could see this as soon as next season.