Originally posted on Fox Sports Tennessee  |  Last updated 12/5/11

GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 16: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman speaks during a press conference before the NHL game between the Phoenix Coyotes and the Tampa Bay Lightning at Jobing.com Arena on November 16, 2009 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) -- NHL officials approved a radical realignment plan Monday that will give the league four conferences instead of six divisions and guarantee home-and-home series among all teams. The Board of Governors authorized commissioner Gary Bettman to implement the proposal pending input with the NHL Players' Association. It could be put in place as early as next season. The league considered two plans to accommodate Atlanta's move to Winnipeg this past summer. The first would have simply moved the Jets to the Central Division and either Detroit or Columbus to the Southeast. "The simple one wasn't as simple as it looked when you got done with it," Bettman said. The board opted to go with the more dramatic switch, creating four geographic conferences -- two with eight teams and two with seven. The new format will increase overall travel in the regular season, especially for Eastern Conference teams who will now have more trips West. But it cuts down on travel fo...
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