NHL Realignment Approved by Board of Governors, Will Go Into Effect Next Season

Steve Valiquette, Tomas Holstrom, Dan Cleary, Ryan CallahanNEW YORK — NHL owners have made it official: The Detroit Red Wings and Columbus Blue Jackets are heading east.

The league announced Thursday that its board of governors approved a realignment plan that will be put into effect next season. The new format will feature two eight-team divisions in the Eastern Conference, and two seven-team divisions in the West.

That means Detroit and Columbus will switch conferences by moving into the East, while the Winnipeg Jets will move into the Western Conference.

The top three seeds in each division will qualify for the playoffs. The next two teams with the best records in each conference will earn wild-card playoff berths.

The NHL Players’ Association signed off on the realignment format, which will be in place for at least three seasons.

Western Conference

Division A
Anaheim
Calgary
Edmonton
Los Angeles
Phoenix
San Jose
Vancouver

Division B
Chicago
Colorado
Dallas
Minnesota
Nashville
St. Louis
Winnipeg

Eastern Conference

Division C
Boston
Buffalo
Detroit
Florida
Montreal
Ottawa
Tampa Bay
Toronto

Division D
Carolina
Columbus
New Jersey
New York Islanders
New York Rangers
Philadelphia
Pittsburgh
Washington

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