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NHL Realigns to 4 Conferences, NSH/DET/CBJ Stay Together in the “West” and other Conferences


Tonight/Monday night, the NHL Board of Governors voted 26-4 in favor of a 4-conference realignment to begin next year for the 2012-2013 season. Nashville will be in the a conference with the following teams:

Chicago Blackhawks
Columbus Blue Jackets
Dallas Stars
Detroit Red Wings
Minnesota Wild
St. Louis Blues
Winnipeg Jets

After all of the speculation, here is the announced new conference alignment from the mainstream media members covering the realignment conference in California right now. These are effective next season:

Eastern Conference 1:

Ottawa Senators
Montreal Canadiens
Toronto Maple Leafs
Boston Bruins
Buffalo Sabres
Tampa Bay Lightning
Florida Panthers

Eastern Conference 2:

New York Rangers
New York Islanders
New Jersey Devils
Pittsburgh Penguins
Philadelphia Flyers
Carolina Hurricanes
Washington Capitals

Western Conference 3:

Chicago Blackhawks
Columbus Blue Jackets
Dallas Stars
Detroit Red Wings
Minnesota Wild
Nashville Predators
St. Louis Blues
Winnipeg Jets

Western Conference 4:

San Jose Sharks
Colorado Avalanche
Edmonton Oilers
Calgary Flames
Vancouver Canucks
Phoenix Coyotes
Los Angeles Kings
Anaheim Ducks

All teams in the NHL will play a home-and-home with the other 29 teams in the league, meaning that all teams in the league will get a chance to see teams like Montreal, Toronto, New York, etc. at least ONCE a season in their respective arena. Vice-versa, teams like Montreal/Toronto/NY will get to see Nashville/CBJ/Phoenix at least once a season as well.

The playoff format hasn’t been finalized yet, but it’s looking as though the first round will be held inside each conference. The top 4 teams from EACH conference will make the playoffs, so the first round next season will be extremely entertaining to watch as they will ALL be divisional match-ups.

Just think, Nashville will always have a guaranteed matchup against one of their current divisional opponents OR Dallas/Winnipeg/Minnesota, which is amazing to think about. Not only that, but Penguins/Flyers every year? What about Penguins/Capitals? Or howabout Bruins/Canadiens? The combinations are just utterly amazing.

Next season is going to be a lot of fun to watch, for sure. Let’s hear your thoughts!