Predators support plan for realignment approved by NHL

Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 3:33pm

Nashville Predators fans will see red far less frequently in coming seasons.

The National Hockey League’s board of governors approved a plan for realignment on Thursday that places the Predators and one of their longtime rivals, the Detroit Red Wings, in separate conferences. The NHL Players' Association gave its approval a week earlier.

The plan, which also moves the Columbus Blue Jackets to a different conference, will begin with the 2013-14 season and will be subject to review after three seasons.

The Predators issued the following statement: “The Nashville Predators voted in support of the realignment plan. We believe this plan is in the best interests of our players, fans and the league.  For our fans it means approximately 70 of our 82 regular season games will be played in the Eastern or Central time zone.

“Fans will also have the opportunity, as a result of the addition of home-and-home series with all Eastern Conference teams, to see every NHL team visit Bridgestone Arena each season.

“For our players, it reduces the travel to the Mountain and Pacific time zones and allows them to match up with every NHL team at least twice each season. Under this realignment, we retain our established rivalries with Chicago and St. Louis and look forward to creating new division rivalries with Colorado, Dallas, Minnesota and Winnipeg.”

Teams will be divided into two conferences of two yet-to-be named divisions each based primarily on geography. Seven teams will comprise the Western Conference divisions and eight will make up the Eastern Conference divisions.

The alignment is as follows:

WESTERN CONFERENCE
Division B: Nashville, Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Minnesota, St. Louis, Winnipeg.

Division A: Anaheim, Calgary, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Jose, Vancouver.

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.

Western Conference teams will play five of the other six teams in their division five times per season. They will play the sixth team just four times. They also will play the seven teams from the other division three times each.

Every team will play two games (one home, one away) against every team from the other conference. That means the Red Wings will come to Bridgestone Arena once per season.

The top three finishers from each division plus the next two teams with the best records will qualify for the playoffs. That means eight of 14 Western Conference teams (57.1 percent) will make the postseason while eight of 16 Eastern Conference teams (50 percent) will qualify.

4 Comments on this post:

By: fan13 on 3/14/13 at 7:26

hattrick.........as a Red Wing supporter I'm sooo happy this re-alignment moves Det to East. We can now return to playing old time hockey with many of Original 6 teams. Just sorry that CHI didn't make the east bound cut. As a bonus we also get to meet Stevie Y's Tampa Bay team....for us it's Xmas.
Ticket sales in Nashville are now going to have to be supported by locals. Red Wing fans will be at home watching TV Red Wings games. Unfortunately Preds fans have not chosen to be friendly rivals with Det. They are believers that behaving nasty is being a good sport. So rather than fill seats we will be sitting on sofa. Best of Luck to the Preds and their fans....we are on our way back to BOS..MON..TOR...etc...where fans root for their own team and under no conditions boo the other.....they simply root harder for their own.

By: Rasputin72 on 3/14/13 at 8:17

This is a great victory for the Red Wings. Being able to play with other aristocratic ice hockey teams is a wonderful event. Nashville can save a little gas money and be with pther birds of the sam feather.

By: 4gold on 3/14/13 at 10:09

Yes hattrick we will miss your obnoxious fans. Better yet go back home to the ghettos and quit sucking up a good job Nashville provided you.You don't like it here? Yooose guys go home. Your breaking my heart. God forbid you support anything in the city that saved you from poverty and abandon foreclosed housing.

Go Dores, Preds, Titans! Go Nashville a great place to live!

By: 4gold on 3/14/13 at 10:15

LOL,Boston is the only decent team in the Red Wings new division. No wonder they wanted out. Chicago and Nashville passed em by and they went running for softer ice.

Go Dores, Preds, Titans! Go Nashville a great place to live!LOL