The NHL tonight announced the radical realignment plan that’s been rumored for a few days.
The new four-conference alignment and playoff format was approved by the Board of Governors and now requires NHLPA agreement.
If approved, Florida and Tampa Bay will be joining the current five Northeast Division teams under this plan. The Atlantic Division teams will be joined by Washington and Carolina. The playoff format will be within conference in a 1 vs. 4 and 2 vs. 3 format. The conference winners will then re-seed for the NHL semifinals and final.
Teams within the seven-team division will meet six times. Non-conference games will be home-and-home for everyone. So the Bruins will play longtime rivals the New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins just twice a season — but they’ll have six games a year with the Panthers and Lightning.
Here’s the full conference alignment:
•New Jersey, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New York Rangers, New York Islanders, Washington and Carolina
•Boston, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Buffalo, Florida and Tampa Bay
•Detroit, Columbus, Nashville, St. Louis, Chicago, Minnesota, Dallas and Winnipeg
•Los Angeles, Anaheim, Phoenix, San Jose, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Colorado