How the New NHL Realignment Will Affect Your Team

NHL-logo1-SmallThe online sports book experts were a little confused when the NHL put out its plans for realignment two years ago. The Winnipeg Jets were still playing teams from Florida and nothing made sense. It took the NHL two years to go back to the drawing board and finally get it right. The result is that there will be an entirely new look to the NHL in 2013-14 and there will also be a brand new playoff structure as well.

The betting websites think that the new conference setups make a lot of sense. Let’s take a look at the new conferences and see where your team will be playing next season. Keep in mind that the actual division names have not yet been released.


Division One

  • Boston Bruins
  • Buffalo Sabres
  • Detroit Red Wings
  • Florida Panthers
  • Montreal Canadiens
  • Ottawa Senators
  • Tampa Bay Lightning
  • Toronto Maple Leafs


Division Two

  • Carolina Hurricanes
  • Columbus Blue Jackets
  • New Jersey Devils
  • New York Islanders
  • New York Rangers
  • Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Washington Capitals
  • Philadelphia Flyers



 Division One

  • Anaheim Ducks
  • Calgary Flames
  • Edmonton Oilers
  • Los Angeles Kings
  • Phoenix Coyotes
  • San Jose Sharks
  • Vancouver Canucks


Division Two

  • Chicago Blackhawks
  • Colorado Avalanche
  • Dallas Stars
  • Minnesota Wild
  • Nashville Predators
  • St. Louis Blues
  • Winnipeg Jets


It is kind of curious that the Columbus Blue Jackets are in the Eastern Conference, while the Nashville Predators are in the Western Conference. But these new divisions will help the league to cut down on travel and it will also help to foster new divisional rivalries.

The first thing that the sports betting sites noticed was the new playoff structure that goes with this realigned league. Each division will have four teams that make the postseason and the first round of the playoffs would be within the divisions. There would be two rounds within each division, then one round to determine the conference champions and then the final round to determine the Stanley Cup champion.

The online betting world finds this whole thing interesting because the NHL has not even really committed to it. The word is that this whole realignment can be scrapped, or changed, for the 2014-15 season if the players do not like it. It seems a bit unusual that the league would give such power to the player’s union, but if it prevents another lockout, then it is a good idea.

Take a look at the new divisions and see where your team will be playing next year. The rivalry between the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings is now gone. The Eastern Conference seemed to retain more of its heated rivalries than the Western Conference did. This re-alignment also allows the league the option to expand to two more teams if it so chooses. The fans would not be in favor of expansion because the current list of 30 teams has stretched the talent pool entirely too thin. But we will all have to wait and see what the NHL has planned in the coming years.


Click here for more on the NHL’s re-alignment plans.