NHL Realignment: Two Conferences, Four Divisions and a Plethora of New Rivalries

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NHL Realignment: Two Conferences, Four Divisions and a Plethora of New Rivalries
Harry How/Getty Images

This week, ESPN broke the news of Commissioner Gary Bettman's plan to realign the NHL after the upcoming season. 

With the relocation of the Thrashers to Winnipeg, it became necessary for adjustments to be made. But rather than just shuffling the current divisions, it appears Bettman is poised to make a more radical change.

In the article, it was stated that Bettman plans on moving from six divisions to four, though it appears he will retain the current East/West format for the conferences.

It was also reported that the four division names would be; East, Midwest, Pacific and South. Assuming the Midwest and Pacific Divisions are in the Western Conference, I have a hard time understanding how the South Division would work, but more on that later.

This adjustment would shake up the first round of the playoffs as well, as Bettman wants to see divisional matchups for the opening series. 

Let's take a look at how things might look in 2012-13.

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