Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 12/7/11
Forced into realignment following Atlanta's move to Winnipeg last summer, the NHL opted for a dramatic change rather than a simple one. League officials approved a radical realignment plan Monday that will give the league four conferences instead of six divisions and will guarantee home-and-home series among all teams. The NHL's Board of Governors authorized commissioner Gary Bettman to implement the proposal pending input from the NHL Players' Association, and it should be in place by next season. Wild forward Matt Cullen is thrilled about the changes that will have the Wild playing in a conference with Detroit, Columbus, Nashville, St. Louis, Chicago, Dallas and Winnipeg. "This is going to be awesome, he said Tuesday. In terms of travel, it is going to be much easier, and I also like some of the potential rivalries that we might have." The new plan tried to address as many concerns of the teams as possible, from creating more equitable travel to preserving rivalries to promoting the game by having the biggest stars play in every city every season. Wild forward Darroll Powe has just moved over from the Eastern Conference, where he played in Philadelphia. He was quick to point out the positives of the change for Minnesota. "First off, our team will have far less wear and tear from traveling back and forth through so many time zones, Powe said. I also think that it is really cool that we will be playing every team in the league at least twice." Wild owner Craig Leipold is happy, too. "I'm most excited for our fans who now will not need to stay up until 9:30 p.m. to watch our team play a majority of our road games," he said. "The other great aspect is that every NHL team will come to Xcel Energy Center at least once each season, which means our fans will get to see their favorite players from around the league at least once a season in person." The other three conferences include Anaheim with Calgary, Colorado, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Jose and Vancouver. In the current Eastern Conference there will be two, seven-team conferences that include Boston with Buffalo, Florida, Montreal, Ottawa, Tampa Bay and Toronto. The other has Carolina with New Jersey, the New York Islanders, the New York Rangers, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Washington. Wild coach Mike Yeo also thinks this new look will be good for everyone in the NHL. "We are two months into this season," Yeo said, "and we haven't played a road game in our time zone yet. This is going to help our energy level and practice schedule big-time in the future. I think this is going to be a really good thing for everyone in the NHL long-term."
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Grizzlies want Kevin Durant in free agency

WATCH: Karl-Anthony Towns throws down monster dunk

Dos Anjos: McGregor will 'break like a girl' at UFC 196

WATCH: D'Angelo Russell hit in groin by LeBron pass

Kobe Bryant has great response to Tyronn Lue story

Report: St. Louis Blues no longer interested in Jonathan Drouin


Doc Rivers: Warriors have 'swagger' of defending champion

Damian Lillard added as a finalist for 2016 U.S. Olympic Team

Celtics legend Paul Pierce prepares for what ‘could be’ his last game in Boston

Free-agent WR Josh Morgan accidentally shot himself, charged with crime

Jon Beason retires after nine NFL seasons

Brewers Association sends Peyton Manning case of craft beer

Fighter says sex before fight partly to blame for loss

Kevin McHale: James Harden being out of shape hurt Rockets early

WATCH: Kevin Love re-injures left shoulder

Johnny Manziel’s grandpa on ex-girlfriend: ‘The girl has her problems’

Andy Dalton reunited with missing luggage thanks to social media

Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson used to soak his ankles in urine

Why Tom Thibodeau needs to be in New York

Defensemen in high demand as NHL trade deadline looms

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Security guard indicted for assaulting University of Houston football fan

The LeBron-Kobe rivalry and Finals matchup that never was

Mario Williams recognizes Bills may release him

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

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker