Board of Governors Approves Four-Conference Format

Last night the NHL Board of Governors approved the four conference format that will preserves rivalries while easing the burden of teams like Detroit, Nashville and Columbus having to travel out west multiple times per season. It doesn’t put Detroit in the east per se, but it does solve more problems then it creates.

Click the jump to ream the official release.

The National Hockey League Board of Governors tonight approved a four-conference alignment format and authorized Commissioner Gary Bettman to implement this proposal, pending input from the National Hockey League Players’ Association.

The format would create two eight-team Conferences and two seven-team conferences.

Under the format, every team would play every other team outside its conference twice — once home, once away.

In the seven-team Conferences, teams would play six times — three home, three away. In the eight-team Conferences, teams would play either five or six times in a season on a rotating basis; three teams would play each other six times and four teams would play each other five times. This process would reverse each season: An eight-team Conference member that plays an opponent six times in one season would play it five times the following season.

The top four teams in each Conference qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The first-place team would play the fourth-place team; the second-place team would play the third-place team.

The four respective Conference champions would meet in the third round of the Playoffs, with the survivors playing for the Stanley Cup.

The Conference format:

Conference A Conference B Conference C Conference D
Anaheim Chicago Boston Carolina
Calgary Columbus Buffalo New Jersey
Colorado Dallas Florida NY Islanders
Edmonton Detroit Montreal NY Rangers
Los Angeles Minnesota Ottawa Philadelphia
Phoenix Nashville Tampa Pittsburgh
San Jose St. Louis Toronto Washington
Vancouver Winnipeg

Discussion: What do you think about the new realignment? Yay, Nay? Chicago sucks!

I personally like it, we get to play Montreal, Toronto, Boston guaranteed twice a year. The playoffs are going to be interesting as it wont be seeded with the division winners automatically getting a 1,2 or 3 bid leaving a team with more points in the 4 or even 5 spot in some cases. I am not clear how the match-ups are determined for the 3rd round, could we see a Detroit – Toronto 3rd round followed by a Detroit – Montreal Finals? or better yet a Detroit – Chicago Finals?