NHL Realignment Halted After Players Association Refuses Consent, Current Format Will Remain Next Season


January 6, 2012

The 2012-13 NHL season was supposed to look drastically different than it does this year, at least in terms of alignment of teams. It turns out, however, that nothing will change next year.

The NHL announced Friday night that the NHLPA has refused consent for a drastic realignment plan that was set to begin for the 2012-13 season. The only thing the league needed to implement the change was the approval of the players association, which it obviously did not receive.

"It is unfortunate that the NHLPA has unreasonably refused to approve a plan that an overwhelming majority of our clubs voted to support, and that has received such widespread support from our fans and other members of the hockey community, including players," said NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly in a statement.

"We have now spent the better part of four weeks attempting to satisfy the NHLPA's purported concerns with the plan with no success. Because we have already been forced to delay, and as a result are already late in beginning the process of preparing next season's schedule, we have no choice but to abandon our intention to implement the realignment plan and modified playoff format for next season.

"We believe the Union acted unreasonably in violation of the league's rights.  We intend to evaluate all of our available legal options and to pursue adequate remedies, as appropriate."

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