By Darrin Bauming (@DarrinBauming)
Late Monday evening, the National Hockey League’s Board of Governors approved a league-wide realignment plan that would put the Winnipeg Jets in a brand new eight-team conference.
Reports out of Pebble Beach, Calif., where the 30-member league meeting took place over the weekend, indicate the NHL will move to four conferences in 2012-13 from the current two-conference, six division format.
While details have yet to be released, the NHL’s new “Central Conference” is believed to contain the Winnipeg Jets, along with Minnesota, Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, Columbus, Dallas, and Nashville.
Realignment for 2012-13
WEST CENTRAL EAST ATLANTIC Calgary Winnipeg Toronto New York Rangers Vancouver Minnesota Montreal New York Islanders Edmonton Chicago Ottawa New Jersey Anaheim Detroit Boston Philadelphia Los Angeles St. Louis Buffalo Pittsburgh San Jose Columbus Florida Washington Phoenix Dallas Tampa Bay Carolina Colorado Nashville
It is believed the Stanley Cup Playoffs will remain at 16 teams, and consist of two rounds played within each conference, followed by a re-seeding based on regular season point totals.
Early reports also indicate that while the majority of games will be played within the conferences, all 30 teams will play each other at least twice a year — once at home, and once away.