Realignment is coming to the NHL for the 2012-13 season, because (spoiler) Winnipeg is not located in the southeast United States. How dramatic that realignment gets — the number of teams switching divisions, and the number of divisions they'll switch to — is the real question.
Back in June, a Gary Bettman-endorsed plan to realign the NHL into four "conferences" was discussed by the Board of Governors, one that included a return to divisional play in the first round of the playoffs.
Support for that plan waned over time. In October, Bob McKenzie of TSN reported that a straight-up Detroit Red Wings-for-Winnipeg Jets swap was now the most likely scenario for realignment.
However, lest anyone believe the NHL and the Board of Governors were destined to take the safe, boring path for realignment: Elliotte Friedman of CBC Sports reported on Saturday night that four-conference format is "gaining steam" and some teams believe it's "50/50" to be approved in December.
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