By Paul Armbruster • KingsNewsDaily.com •
With the news that the players have agreed to the NHL realignment proposal (see stories below), it appears all but certain the Kings will find themselves facing new divisional opponents next season. Gone will be the Dallas Stars, who I imagine are more than happy to leave the Pacific division considering they’re about 1000 miles from the left coast. Back to the Pacific will be Calgary, Vancouver and Edmonton who left the Division to form the Northwest back in 1998. It also harkens back to the days of the old Smythe Division when Winnipeg joined the group above sans Phoenix and Anaheim.
Executive director Donald Fehr said the NHL Players’ Association has given its blessing to the league’s realignment plan for next season. The league, which has needed to make changes to its setup since the Atlanta Thrashers moved to Winnipeg in 2011, will go from the current six-division alignment to four.
NHL realignment is one step closer toward becoming a reality. In a statement on Thursday afternoon Donald Fehr announced that the NHLPA has given consent to realignment for the 2013-14 season with the understanding that it will be revisited and re-evaluated after the 2014-15 season.
By CBC Sports
“After discussions with the executive board, the NHLPA has given consent to realignment, to be re-evaluated following the 2014-15 season,” Fehr said in a statement.
Detroit Free Press
Days from embarking on a grueling travel schedule, the Red Wings got a fantastic piece of news: The NHLPA has signed off on re-alignment, clearing the path for it to happen next season. The Wings would go from playing the majority of their road games in other time zones to playing most of them in the Eastern time zone, as they would join Buffalo, Boston, Florida, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Tampa Bay, a conference that also features four Original Six teams. The deal still has to be approved by the NHL’s Board of Governors, but that isn’t a hurdle and could come within days.