3:32PM: Elliotte Friedman writes at CBC that the NHL and NHLPA will meet after the 2016 season to discuss if this realignment plan is working out. He adds that the clause in the NHL memo suggesting that also says that the two sides could meet sooner if “circumstances warrant.”
That would allow the NHL and NHLPA to alter some things if there is expansion or relocation.
Friedman also notes that teams, like the Rangers with eight teams in their division, will play two teams in their own division FIVE times and the other five teams in the division will be played FOUR times to equal 30 games.
1:54PM: At ESPN.com, Pierre LeBrun obtained a document that has the NHL’s plans for realignment.
LeBrun says that the NHL will continue to have an Eastern and Western Conference, but only have two divisions instead of three.
Those divisions would be the Atlantic and Central in the East and the Mid-West and Pacific in the West.
LeBrun says that the playoffs would be divisionally based instead of conference based as they currently are, “The division winner with the most regular-season points will play the lowest-seeded wild-card team in the first round, with the other division winner playing the other wild-card team.”
The wild card spots in each conference would go to the teams with the best records that didn’t make the playoffs, so one division could have five teams make the playoffs while the other division would only have three.
For the Rangers, their division would include the Islanders Devils, Flyers, Penguins, Capitals, Hurricanes and Blue Jackets.
Bob McKenzie says that one schedule plan would see each team visit every other team team.
The schedule would break down as
- 28 games (2 games each vs the 14 Western Conference Teams)
- 24 games (3 games against the 8 teams in the other Eastern division)
- 30 games against your own division.