According to reports on Saturday night, the NHL will present a four-division realignment scenario at the Board of Governors meeting next week.
And the Blackhawks-Red Wings rivalry would remain.
According to Elliotte Friedman of CBC, here are the proposed Western Conference divisions:
|Vancouver Canucks||Chicago Blackhawks|
|Calgary Flames||Detroit Red Wings|
|Edmonton Oilers||Winnipeg Jets|
|Los Angeles Kings||St. Louis Blues|
|San Jose Sharks||Columbus Blue Jackets|
|Anaheim Ducks||Nashville Predators|
|Colorado Avalanche||Minnesota Wild|
|Phoenix Coyotes*||Dallas Stars|
The wild card in the scenario is the Coyotes, who are broke and don’t have many/any prospects of ownership keeping them in the desert. Depending on where that franchise ends up, they could be part of one of the two Eastern Conference divisions.
Here are the proposed Eastern Conference divisions:
|Toronto Maple Leafs||Philadelphia Flyers|
|Ottawa Senators||Pittsburgh Penguins|
|Montreal Canadiens||NY Rangers|
|Boston Bruins||NY Islanders|
|Buffalo Sabres||New Jersey Devils|
|Florida Panthers||Washington Capitals|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||Carolina Hurricanes|
Again, the Coyotes could factor into either of those divisions if they move into a situation that would place them in the Eastern Conference.
Under this plan, most of the strong rivalries that currently exist in the NHL wouldn’t be hurt, and some older rivalries (like Chicago and Minnesota) would be reborn.