NHL Players Association Nixes Realignment Plan

Apparently, the players weren’t too happy with the plan

(USA Today) The NHL announced Friday that it won’t go ahead with realignment in 2012-13 because it says the players association won’t agree to the new format.

The change to a four-conference setup was approved 26-4 in December by the NHL’s board of governors. Under the plan, the top four teams in each conference would make the playoffs and the first two rounds of the playoffs would be played within the conference.

The league said it will stick to its current format — six divisions, with the top eight teams in the Eastern and Western conferences making the playoffs — for next season.

The sticking point for the players, especially the Eastern conference players, was the large amount of back to back games, which would mean quite a bit of travel, along with wear and tear, as well as the large amount of travel to start with. Even the Western teams would see an increase in travel, despite part of the point of the plan being to reduce the travel for them.

Devils players were happy with the nixing. Patrick Elias wants to be able to play in Canada a couple times a year. David Clarkson hated the playoffs format. Personally, I liked the division setup, with the Hurricanes being in the same division as the Devils, as there is a good, and nasty, rivalry between the teams, going back to the Playoffs series the two teams have played. Even the Devils fans like the rivalry, treating Carolina much like they treat the Flyers and Rangers. I hate the Playoffs format, though. IMO, keep it the same, with 1 playing 8, 2 playing 7, etc.

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