Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 2/23/13

The Bruins already share a division with the Montreal Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs, another Original Six franchise may join that fray as early as next season. According to CBC’s Elliotte Friedman, the NHL’s proposed four-conference realignment plan would place the Detroit Red Wings in a conference with the Bruins, Canadiens, Leafs, Buffalo Sabres, Florida Panthers, Ottawa Senators and Tampa Bay Lightning. The proposal, which must still be approved by the league’s board of governors, would do away with the current two-conference, six-division format in favor of four individual conferences — two with seven teams and two with eight. A major impetus for the desire for realignment was the Atlanta Thrashers’ move to Winnipeg prior to the 2012 season, which has created significant travel struggles for teams in the Southeast Division. The other eight-team conference will reportedly consist of Carolina, Columbus, New Jersey, the New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Washington. One seven-team conference will include Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Minnesota, Nashville, St. Louis and Winnipeg, while the other will be made up of Anaheim, Calgary, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Jose and Vancouver. The names the proposed conferences have not yet been announced. The new re-alignment NHL/NHLPA have worked on -- I: CAR/CLB/NJ/NYI/NYR/PHI/PIT/WASH— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) February 24, 2013 II: BOS/BUF/DET/FLA/MON/OTT/TB/TOR— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) February 24, 2013 III: CHI/COL/DAL/MIN/NASH/STL/WIN— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) February 24, 2013 IV: ANA/CAL/EDM/LA/PHOE/SJ/VAN— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) February 24, 2013

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