The National Hockey League Board of Governors approved a realignment plan that would see the Detroit Red Wings move to the Eastern Conference on Thursday.
The Red Wings and Columbus Blue Jackets would head east, with the Winnipeg Jets moving west to create a 16-team Eastern Conference and a 14-team Western Conference. Each conference would have two divisions, as opposed to the three currently in place.
The divisions are not currently named. One rumor sees the Eastern divisions carrying the Atlantic and Northeast names with the Western ones being the Central and Pacific. Another would have the Atlantic and Central in the East and the Midwest and Pacific in the West.
For now, the league is referring to the would-be Pacific as Division A, the Central/Midwest as Division B, the Northeast/Central as Division C and the Atlantic as Division D.
The teams would be aligned as follows:
Division A: Anaheim, Calgary, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Jose, Vancouver
Division B: Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Minnesota, Nashville, St. Louis, Winnipeg
Division C: Boston, Buffalo, Detroit, Florida, Montreal, Ottawa, Tampa Bay, Toronto
Division D: Carolina, Columbus, New Jersey, NY Islanders, NY Rangers, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington
In the Eastern Conference, each team will play the others in its division four times, with an additional game against two of their divison rivals (the additional game to be rotated annually) for a total of 30 intra-division games. Inter-divisional matchups will see three meetings.
Additionally, each team will play all of the teams in the opposite conference twice, once at home and once on the road.
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