NHLPA Rejects Realignment

Pretty much everyone has had mixed emotions about the new alignment of “divisions” or “conferences” or whatever you want to call them.  Splitting the 30 NHL franchises up into four non-equal groups seemed like a new an innovative idea.  Just as a quick reminder, here is what the league proposed:

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

Like I said before, it gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “Leastern Conference”.

Well we found out one interested party who isn’t too keen on this format…the NHL Players’ Association.

Make the jump for more info.

The NHL released a statement this evening saying that “it will not move forward with implementation of realignment … because the NHLPA has refused to provide its consent. As a result … the NHL will maintain its current alignment and playoff format for the 2012-13 season.”

That comes to us from the Detroit Free Press early this morning.  So that schedule that was supposed to be more fan-friendly in terms of East/Midwest audiences and player friendly in terms of travel for our players…yeah, the NHLPA might be telling us to kiss it goodbye for at least one more year.

Kenny Holland is none to happy about this new turn of events…

“We’d be disappointed if it’s on hold for a year.  This is the first I’ve heard of it, but we’d be disappointed. We voted for realignment.” –Ken Holland

The board of governors approved the new realignment by a vote of 26 for and 4 against back in December.  But, as any professional sport can tell you, the players and the owners don’t always see eye-to-eye.

All of the concerns I was hearing about from the players prospective were coming from Western Conference teams questioning the fairness of having two “conferences” that had one more team than that of the two Eastern “Conferences”.  Well, if you’re looking for a majority vote, and you have 16 teams on the “getting shafted” side and 14 teams on the other side…then it would seem obvious that the motion isn’t going to pass.

I suppose we should have seen this coming, with all of the grumbling about play-off percentages and such from the players.

I’m sure there will be a lot more said on both sides before this all said and done.