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NHL realignment: NHLPA gives consent to realignment

By Adam Gretz | Hockey writer

More NHL: Scores | Standings | Odds | Fight-O-Meter | League Leaders | Rumors

NHL realignment is one step closer toward becoming a reality.

In a statement on Thursday afternoon, Donald Fehr announced that the NHLPA has given consent to realignment for the 2013-14 season with the understanding that it will be revisited and re-evaluated after the 2014-15 season.

The last remaining hurdle at this point is a board of governors vote at a time that has yet to be determined (once that vote happens it's assumed that the play is going to pass).

The NHL's plan would include Columbus and Detroit leaving the Western Conference and joining conferences with teams in the Eastern time zone, which will cut down on their travel. It does, however, add to the travel for the two Florida teams.

The proposed alignment looks like this:

Eastern Side
Division 1Division 2
Carolina HurricanesBoston Bruins
Columbus Blue JacketsBuffalo Sabres
New Jersey DevilsDetroit Red Wings
New York IslandersFlorida Panthers
New York RangersMontreal Canadiens
Philadelphia FlyersOttawa Senators
Pittsburgh PenguinsTampa Bay Lightning
Washington CapitalsToronto Maple Leafs

And the Western side.

Western Side
Division 3Division 4
Chicago BlackhawksAnaheim Ducks
Colorado AvalancheCalgary Flames
Dallas StarsEdmonton Oilers
Minnesota WildLos Angeles Kings
Nashville PredatorsPhoenix Coyotes
St. Louis BluesSan Jose Sharks
Winnipeg JetsVancouver Canucks

The top-three teams in each division would qualify for the playoffs while the top-two remaining teams in each conference would complete the playoff field.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @Agretz on Twitter and like us on Facebook. Also, subscribe to our YouTube Channel.

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