Breaking News: NHL Realignment Officially Adopts 4 Conferences

Jordan MatthewsAnalyst IIIDecember 6, 2011

BUFFALO, NY - DECEMBER 4:  Valtteri Filppula #51 of the Detroit Red Wings celebrates his goal with Ian White #18, Henrik Zetterberg #40 and Jiri Hudler #26 during a NHL game against the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center on December 2, 2011 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

After what was said to be a little less than an hour-long discussion about how the NHL would realign the divisions for the start of the 2012-2013 NHL season, the NHL's Board of Governors has reached the decision that they will adopt a four-conference format.

Two conferences will feature seven teams, and two will feature eight.

No names have been revealed yet for the conferences.

It has been announced that teams will play a home-and-home series against every team outside of their own conference. Any games left over will be used in a balanced schedule against conference opponents.

Also, the first two rounds of the playoffs will be played against conference opponents. This means that the top four teams from each conference will advance.

After the first two rounds, teams will be seeded in order of regular-season points (1 vs. 4, 2 vs. 3), making it possible for a Detroit vs. San Jose or New York vs. Toronto Stanley Cup Final.

Here are the new conferences, as confirmed by SI.com.

Conference One: Detroit Red Wings, Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild, Winnipeg Jets, St. Louis Blues, Nashville Predators, Dallas Stars, Columbus Blue Jackets

Conference Two: Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks, Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche, Anaheim Ducks, Phoenix Coyotes, Edmonton Oilers

Conference Three: Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers, Buffalo Sabres

Conference Four: New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, New York Islanders, Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers, Washington Capitals, Carolina Hurricanes

Jordan Matthews will continue to have live updates on the realignment situation, including confirmation of where teams will officially land. For up-to-the-minute coverage, you can follow him on Twitter.


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