For NHL fans, the three months from July to October are some of the longest of the year.
The parades have concluded, the draft is finished, and any major free agent moves have already happened.
However, this offseason was spiced up when ESPN broke the news of Commissioner Bettman’s plans to realign the league following the 2011-12 season.
As we learned that the Atlanta Thrashers would become the Winnipeg Jets, it was clear that change would be coming to the NHL. Many speculated on which Western Conference team would be headed East.
However, it appears that rather than just swapping two teams, Bettman is poised to make a much more dramatic change.
In ESPN’s report, 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.
This adjustment would shake up the first round of the playoffs as well, as Bettman wants to see a divisional matchup for the opening series.
This is how I see the Divisions playing out:
Assuming things go as discussed above, let’s look at how each team would be affected moving forward.