Michael Russo has covered the National Hockey League since 1995. He has covered the Minnesota Wild for the Star Tribune since 2005, after 10 years of covering the Florida Panthers for the Sun-Sentinel. He uses “Russo’s Rants” to feed a wide-ranging hockey-centric discussion with readers, and can be heard weekly on KFAN (100.3 FM) radio and seen weekly on Fox Sports North.

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NHLPA consents to realignment

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild news Updated: March 7, 2013 - 4:45 PM

NHLPA Executive Director Don Fehr announced, “After discussions with the Executive Board, the NHLPA has given consent to realignment, to be re-evaluated following the 2014-15 season.”

Now, it's just a matter of the NHL's Board of Governors fast appoval and we will have realignment next year.

There will be two eight-team divisions in the East, two seven-team divisions in the West. The top three teams in each division will make the playoffs, as well as two wildcard teams in the East and two in the West.

The Wild's division includes Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Nashville, St. Louis and Winnipeg. Detroit and Columbus move east.

The schedule breakdown for the West is expected to be a home and home with the East (32 games), three games each vs. the other division of Anaheim, L.A., San Jose, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Phoenix (or TBA; 21 games) and 29 games in your own division (so some teams four games, some teams five).

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