EDMONTON, Alberta (DETROIT FREE PRESS) -- The news is timely enough for the Detroit Red Wings: They officially are going to be traveling much closer to home starting next season.
As expected, a realignment plan for the 30-team NHL was OK'ed by the Board of Governors this week, following last week's approval by the NHL Players Association. The news was announced today.
Instead of being one of two teams from the Eastern time zone playing in the Western Conference, the Wings will be in a new division with Boston, Buffalo, Florida, Montreal, Ottawa, Tampa Bay and Toronto -- a grouping entirely within the Eastern time zone.
The Wings are in western Canada right now, where they play Edmonton on Friday and finish up Saturday at Vancouver. They began the trip with a 5-2 loss Wednesday at Calgary.
The other Eastern division would have Carolina, Columbus, New Jersey, the New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Washington. The Western Conference divisions would be one with Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Minnesota, Nashville, St. Louis and Winnipeg, and the other with Anaheim, Calgary, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Jose and Vancouver.
Detroit Free Press