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NHL realignment plan surfaces

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Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013, 8:06 p.m.
 

The NHL is proposing a realignment plan that would include four divisions and a new playoff format, multiple sources confirmed Tuesday.

The Eastern Conference would include 16 clubs, with 14 teams representing the Western Conference. The top three teams from each division would qualify for the postseason. The final four spots would go to two wild-card teams in each conference.

Detroit and Columbus would move from the Western to Eastern Conference, with the Blue Jackets joining the Penguins in the revamped Atlantic Division. In addition to the Penguins and Blue Jackets, the new Atlantic would include both New York teams, the Devils, Flyers, Hurricanes and Capitals.

The Penguins would vote against any plan that separates them from the Flyers, Penguins governor and CEO David Morehouse has said.

Realignment must be approved by the NHL Board of Governors and the Players' Association. The NHL would like to begin the format for next season.

Rob Rossi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at rrossi@tribweb.com or via Twitter @RobRossi_Trib.

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