Details emerge for playoffs, schedules in proposed realignment

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO
  • Star Tribune
  • February 26, 2013 - 11:10 PM


With the NHL's realignment plan now being reviewed by all 30 clubs, word spread Tuesday as to how the playoffs would work and how the schedule would break down if the plan gains approval.

There would be four divisions -- two in the Eastern Conference and two in the Western Conference. The top three teams in each division would make the playoffs, according to a memo obtained by Canada's TSN, with two wild-card spots awarded in each conference to round out the 16 teams.

Since each Western Conference division has seven teams and each Eastern Conference division has eight, there would be two fewer nonplayoff teams in the West.

The Wild's division, now being dubbed the Midwest, would also have Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Nashville, St. Louis and Winnipeg. Anaheim, Calgary, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Jose and Vancouver would be in the Pacific.

Detroit and Columbus would both move to the Eastern Conference. One division is being called the Central and would include the Red Wings, Boston, Buffalo, Florida, Montreal, Ottawa, Tampa Bay and Toronto.

The Atlantic would include the Blue Jackets, Carolina, New Jersey, the Rangers, Islanders, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Washington.

The Wild would play the seven teams in the Pacific Division three times each (21 games) and all 16 teams in the East home and away (32 games). That would leave 29 games for inside the Midwest Division.

The first two rounds of the playoffs are played inside the division with the wild-card teams being the fourth seeds.

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