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Michael Russo's NHL short takes

  • February 9, 2013 - 5:11 PM
Realignment still kicked around

While there is a meeting this month to iron out the Olympics and the fact there is little doubt NHL players will participate in the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, realignment continues to be a hot-button topic.

As members of the NHL and NHLPA hierarchy gather to write the collective bargaining agreement, they are also discussing realignment. NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly says the league "hopes to have a resolution in the near future."

While the Olympics and the uncertain future of the Phoenix Coyotes affect the schedule's release in June, Daly says it should not hold up realignment.

The Coyotes' sale to Greg Jamison did not occur by a Jan. 31 deadline set by the city of Glendale. The league continues to operate the team and there is the possibility for an eventual relocation, perhaps to Seattle.

The NHLPA would not provide its consent for realignment last year, something that disappointed Wild owner Craig Leipold.

At the time, Leipold promised "to continue to pursue this realignment plan as aggressively as possible. ... Our fans were universally excited to be playing against Midwestern teams in the previous old Norris Division."

The Wild wants to move out of the Northwest Division with Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Colorado into a "conference" with Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Nashville, St. Louis and Winnipeg.

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