NEWS: Realignment Has Been Approved (Details)

NHL 2013 RealignmentThe NHL Board of Governors has approved realignment that will go into place next season.

The league will stay in two conferences and have two divisions within each conference.

There will be 14 teams in the Western Conference and 16 teams in the Eastern Conference.


Playoffs:

  • The top three teams in each division make the playoffs (6 of 8 conference teams)
  • The remaining two spots (wild cards) will be awarded to the teams with the highest point totals in the conference, regardless of division.
  • The division winner with the most points in the conference will be matched against the wild-card team with the lowest number of points; the division winner with the second-most points in the conference will play the wild-card team with the second fewest points.
  • It is possible for one division to have five teams and the other to have three teams make the playoffs.

The wild card spots will be based on points as well and the division winner with the most points in each conference will face the wild card team with the fewest points. The other division winner will play the other wild card team.

Names:

  • Permanent names will be announced but the NHL is currently using A,B,C,D as names for the divisions.
  • A: Ducks, Flames, Oilers, Kings, Coyotes, Sharks and Canucks
  • B: Blackhawks, Avs, Stars, Wild, Predators, Blues and Jets
  • C: Bruins, Red Wings, Canadiens, Maple Leafs, Sabres, Panthers, Senators and Lightning
  • D: Rangers, Islanders, Devils, Penguins, Flyers, Capitals, Hurricanes and Blue Jackets

Eastern Conference Schedule:

  • 30 divisional games (5 games vs. 2 teams and 4 games vs. 5 teams. Teams are rotated every year)
  • 24 conference games (3 games vs each team.
  • 28 non-conference games (1 home/1 away vs the 14 Western Conference teams)

The NHLPA announced last week that realignment will be re-evaluated after the 2014-15 season.