We Will Have Realignment
December 6, 2011 5 Comments
image via Cassie McClellan
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (Dec. 5, 2011) — The National Hockey League
Board of Governors tonight approved a four-Conference alignment format and
authorized Commissioner Gary Bettman to implement this proposal, pending
input from the National Hockey League Players’ Association. The format
would create two eight-team Conferences and two seven-team conferences.
Under the format, every team would play every other team outside its
conference twice — once home, once away.
In the seven-team Conferences, teams would play six times — three
home, three away. In the eight-team Conferences, teams would play either
five or six times in a season on a rotating basis; three teams would play
each other six times and four teams would play each other five times. This
process would reverse each season: An eight-team Conference member that
plays an opponent six times in one season would play it five times the
The top four teams in each Conference qualify for the Stanley Cup
Playoffs. The first-place team would play the fourth-place team; the
second-place team would play the third-place team. The four respective
Conference champions would meet in the third round of the Playoffs, with
the survivors playing for the Stanley Cup.
The Conference format: