The National Hockey League Players’ Association has consented to the realignment proposed by the National Hockey League.
“The NHL Players’ Association confirmed to us today that it has consented to a revised Plan for Realignment, effective for the 2013-14 season,” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement. “Our next step will be to bring the proposed Plan for Realignment to the NHL Board of Governors for its consideration. We will update the status of the process as future developments warrant.”
The general sentiment is that the NHL Board of Governors will approve the plan.
Under the proposed realignment, teams would be placed into a 14-team Western Conference or a 16-team Eastern Conference, with divisions outlined below.
New York Islanders
New York Rangers
On February 25, Darryl Sutter shared his opinions on the proposed plan, saying “I went through lots of…realignments in 35 years. I went through divisions, conferences, unbalanced schedules, unbalanced divisions, unbalanced conferences, so whatever they decide…you’re never going to be happy all the way around because of travel. It’s the way it works. My only issue, quite honest, with what they’re proposing is obviously…borders. It affects border crossings and backs-to-backs and adds a lot of time into your schedule. There’s nothing you can do when you’re on the west coast about time zones, because, hey, half the teams are in another time zone. So those are always the two things for you, are how your travel affects you. Other than that, it’d be nice to be put a little bit of pressure on the east so they’re not in their own bed and jammies all the time. It is. It’s easier for them come playoff time. I’ve coached only in the Western Conference, and the Eastern Conference has an easier path once playoffs start just because of the travel. Hey, Detroit’s always wanted to get over there. It’d be awesome being an old school guy to see Detroit, Toronto, you know, that sort of thing. But you know, we had the old division in Chicago, and there were three of us from the original six, and…it was pretty cool. Detroit, Toronto and Chicago. So that was pretty cool. The heritage guys, the history guys all liked that part of it.”
More notes and opinions on realignment will come as the plan progresses.