For a while in early December it seemed like realignment was a done deal and the NHL landscape would look dramatically different for the 2012-2013 season.
The players ended up vetoing a plan passed by the owners that would have reshaped the league, but realignment will again be a topic of discussion as collective bargaining negotiations get underway. It’s a good bet that the previously approved plan will be a close match to what is eventually agreed upon between the owners and players as part of the new CBA.
It’s a silly exercise, because A) it doesn’t matter and B) so many other circumstances would have been different, but let’s take a look at what might have been in 2011-2012 if the most popular realignment plan was already in effect.
For reference, here’s how the divisions would have been constructed:
The Atlantic Division would also feature Washington and Carolina in addition to the Rangers, Devils, Flyers, Islanders and Penguins.
Montreal, Ottawa, Boston, Toronto, Buffalo, Tam...