Originally written on Puck Drunk Love  |  Last updated 11/20/14
Ever since Winnipeg was awarded an NHL franchise, the hockey world has been buzzing about realignment. The Winnipeg Jets currently play in the Southeast Division and have to travel to locales such as Tampa Bay, Raleigh, and Washington, DC to play games within their division. To cut down on this travel, a deal was made prior to last season that Winnipeg would play one final season in the Southeast and then move to the Western Conference.    This sent fans, bloggers, and members of the mainstream media scrambling to come up with their own versions of realignment. Some people thought that Columbus would move to the Southeast Division and realignment would be done. Other reports stated that when Detroit moved from the Eastern Conference to the Western they were promised that when the first opportunity came about to move back east they would. After the Board of Governors agreed to a realignment plan during an in-season meeting last year, the Player’s Association swiftly voted it down, thus sending the first shot over the bow in what turned out to be a long labor negotiation.    On Saturday night during Hockey Night in Canada, CBC’s Elliotte Friedman leaked a potential realignment plan that is currently being discussed by the Board of Governors.    We'll start with the Eastern Conference:     Look familiar? Well, if you weren’t a hockey fan before 1993, these are what the old Patrick and Adams Divisions looked like for the most part. What is being labeled as “Conference One” was the Patrick Division with the Devils, Rangers, Flyers, Islanders, Capitals, and Penguins. In this incarnation, the Carolina Hurricanes are added and the Columbus Blue Jackets have moved to the Eastern Conference. This logistically makes the most sense as the Blue Jackets are one the easternmost Western Conference teams.   In “Conference Two” we see some remnants of the Adams Division with Boston, Montreal, and Buffalo. The Maple Leafs were also in the Adams Division along with the Minnesota North Stars before their move after the 1980-1981 season. Another thing to notice is that Detroit also moves into the Eastern Conference. The good thing about the proposed Eastern “conferences” is that many of the rivalries are still intact, such as the Battle of Ontario and Bruins vs. Canadiens games in Conference Two. In Conference One, the Battle of New York is still in play along with the Battle of Pennsylvania and the Penguins vs Capitals rivalry that has been brewing over the last several seasons.   Well, what about the Western Conference? Here’s what the proposal looks like:     This also looks like what the Norris and Smythe Divisions looked like. In the Norris Division “Conference Three”, Chicago, St. Louis, and Dallas are grouped together from the Norris Division days while Nashville still remains with their Central Division rivals. Colorado moves over from the Northwest Division and the Winnipeg Jets land here from the Eastern Conference. The Jets were a part of the Norris Division until the 1981-1982 season when the Colorado Rockies moved to New Jersey and became the Devils and Winnipeg was forced over to the Smythe Division.   In “Conference Four”, the Smythe Division also remains virtually the same with Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, San Jose, and Los Angeles coming together again. Anaheim and Phoenix are also added to compete the final “conference.” Like what we see in the Eastern Conference, most of the rivalries are still intact, especially in “Conference Four” where the Battles of California and Alberta are still alive.    With these moves, there there would be an imbalance between the Eastern and Western Conference. According to Friedman, a wild-card may be in the works for the teams in the Eastern Conference. This leaves the door wide open for two expansion teams to join the Western Conference and make it four eight-team “conferences.” To even add more fuel to the conspiracy fire, doesn't it look like Seattle could join "Conference Four" and an expansion team from Kansas City join "Conference Three?" It seems a bit too convenient, but the NHL has not definitively said anything about expansion.   For the sake of hockey fans everywhere, can the National Hockey League please name the “conferences” Patrick, Adams, Norris, and Smythe? After all of the nonsense that has taken place over the last calendar year, it’s the least they can do.    H/T to Nick Cotsonika of Yahoo Sports for tweeting the pictures of the proposed realignment   [follow]
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Aaron Hernandez jurors allowed to watch Super Bowl

Tiger misses cut: ‘I’m only doing this so I won’t get fined’

Roger Goodell grilled on Deflategate during presser

Rex Ryan: Seahawks need to ‘take the air out of the football’

J.J. Watt buys cabin in the middle of nowhere to train


Six teams have done background work on Peterson

NBA set to earn $700M through streaming deal in China

Wade Phillips is the best coordinator hire this offseason

Bill Belichick gives understated scouting report of Tom Brady

Five teams that failed to improve this offseason

Steelers fans were more profane on social media

Most unexpected MLB free agent signings of past 10 years

Five most villainous Super Bowls of all time

Super Bowl ad focuses on acceptance of gay athletes

Foster says UT boosters paid him $40-50K while in college

Ranking the repeat Super Bowl champions

Eric Decker to Sherman: Time your conception a little better

Could Katy Perry and Russell Wilson be dating?

The Media isn't the villain we deserve, but it's the one we need

Are LeBron and the Cavs ready to make a run?

The Super Bowl and the things that can't be controlled

DeMarcus Cousins calls out writer for five-year-old tweet

What if Drew Bledsoe didn't get injured in 2001?

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 13 things we want to see in Super Bowl XLIX

Tiger Woods, misses cut: ‘I’m only doing this so I won’t get fined’

Ranking the repeat SB champions

Roger Goodell grilled on Deflategate

Katy Perry, Russell Wilson dating?

Rex Ryan has advice for Seahawks

Super Bowl: Things you can't control

LeBron and the Cavs are ready to make a run

Cousins calls out writer's old tweet

Seahawks praise Brady's trash-talk

Who should be in 2015 HOF class

Rex Ryan downplays Deflategate

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.