NHL Approves New Alignment For 2013-14 Season

From the NHL Press Release:

The National Hockey League's Board of Governors has approved realignment and a division-based format for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, effective for the 2013-14 season. The realignment plan creates two eight-team divisions in the Eastern Conference and two seven-team divisions in the Western Conference. The names of the divisions will be formalized at a later date.

The new alignment will place several clubs in more geographically appropriate groupings and will intensify already-fierce rivalries throughout the League. The new scheduling matrix will ensure that all 30 teams play in all 30 arenas at least once a season.

East 1 East 2 West 1 West 2
Carolina Boston Chicago Anaheim
Columbus Buffalo Colorado Calgary
New Jersey Detroit Dallas Edmonton
NY Islanders Florida Minnesota Los Angeles
NY Rangers Montreal Nashville Phoenix
Philadelphia Ottawa St. Louis San Jose
Pittsburgh Tampa Bay Winnipeg Vancouver
Washington Toronto    

 

The press release also stated some of the benefits to the new realignment, which mostly caters to the Western Conference teams.

The first movement allows Winnipeg to have a much easier travel schedule. It also enables Columbus and Detroit to move to the Eastern Conference and play against teams within their time zone.
 
Teams like Dallas, Minnesota and Colorado will also be moved into divisions with teams that benefit their grueling travel schedule.
 
Listed below will be the new scheduling format, also included in the press release:
 
Western Conference (7-Team Divisions)

Within Conference (Division): 29 games

  • 5 games vs. five teams (3 Home/2 Away vs. two teams, 2 Home/3 Away vs. three teams) AND 4 games vs. one team (2 Home/2 Away). Teams rotated on a yearly basis.
  • 5 X 5 =25 games
  • 1 X 4 = 4 games
Within Conference (Non-Division): 21 games
  • 3 games vs. each team (2 Home/1 Away vs. four teams, 1 Home/2 Away vs. three teams). Teams rotated on a yearly basis.
  • 3 X 7 = 21 games
Non-Conference: 32 games
  • 2 games vs. each team (1 Home/1 Away)
  • 2 X 16 = 32 games
(Exception: one team from each division plays one less game inside Division and one more game inside Conference outside Division)

Eastern Conference (8-Team Divisions)

Within Conference (Division): 30 games

  • 5 games vs. two teams (3 Home/2 Away vs. one team, 2 Home/3 Away vs. one team) AND 4 games vs. five teams (2 Home/2 Away). Teams rotated on a yearly basis.
  • 5 X 2 =10 games
  • 4 X 5 = 20 games
Within Conference (Non-Division): 24 games
  • 3 games vs. each team (2 Home/1 Away vs. four teams, 1 Home/2 Away vs. four teams). Teams rotated on a yearly basis.
  • 3 X 8 = 24 games
Non-Conference: 28 games
  • 2 games vs. each team (1 Home/1 Away)
  • 2 X 14 = 28 games

Playoffs

In order to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the top three finishers in each Division will qualify for the first 12 spots in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and be the top three seeds in each division.

Two Wild Card spots will then be awarded to the next two teams with the highest point total. This means we could see up to five teams from any division make the playoffs.

The top team in the conference will face the lower of the two Wild Card teams. The other division winner will face the other Wild Card team. This leaves the 2 and 3 seeds within each division to face each other.

The playoffs will look like this:

  • 1 vs. 4 and 2 vs. 3 -- winners play each other for berth in Conference Finals.
  • Conference Finals -- Two advancing teams in the West and two advancing teams in the East meet in Conference Championship.
  • Eastern and Western Conference Champions will meet in Stanley Cup Final.

Comments

George Prax's picture

I like being in the same division as Detroit, going to have to wait and see about the new playoff format though.