NHL realignment: NHLPA gives consent to realignment

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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 1 Division 2
Carolina Hurricanes Boston Bruins
Columbus Blue Jackets Buffalo Sabres
New Jersey Devils Detroit Red Wings
New York Islanders Florida Panthers
New York Rangers Montreal Canadiens
Philadelphia Flyers Ottawa Senators
Pittsburgh Penguins Tampa Bay Lightning
Washington Capitals Toronto Maple Leafs

And the Western side.

Western Side
Division 3 Division 4
Chicago Blackhawks Anaheim Ducks
Colorado Avalanche Calgary Flames
Dallas Stars Edmonton Oilers
Minnesota Wild Los Angeles Kings
Nashville Predators Phoenix Coyotes
St. Louis Blues San Jose Sharks
Winnipeg Jets Vancouver 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.

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CBS Sports Writer

Adam Gretz has been writing about the NHL and taking an analytical approach to the game since the start of the 2008 season. A member of the PHWA since 2015, he has spent more than three years covering... Full Bio

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