NHLPA Blocks Realignment; Gary Bettman’s Ego Officially Crushed

remember back to the glorious times of December 2011, when NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and the owners met for their annual pow-wow at Pebble Beach. they trumpeted their new realignment proposal, which passed by a vote of 26-4. all they needed was the consent of the players association, which was viewed by many as a mere formality.

WELL, WELL, WELL! the players association rejected that proposal on Friday, which means the current format remains intact for at least another season. great news for me, b/c I can just keep playing NHL 12. bad news for the Winnipeg Jets, who will be stuck in the Southeast Division with teams like Washington, Carolina, Florida, and Tampa Bay. I feel your pain, Winnipeg!

I wasn’t totally in love with the move from six divisions to four conferences, and the proposed new playoff format was a step backwards. here’s another chance for me to put over my own realignment proposal.

ATLANTIC: New Jersey, NY Islanders, NY Rangers, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh
NORTHEAST: Boston, Buffalo, Columbus, Montreal, Ottawa
SOUTHEAST: Carolina, Florida, Nashville, Tampa Bay, Washington
NORRIS: Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota, St. Louis, Toronto
NORTHWEST: Calgary, Colorado, Edmonton, Vancouver, Winnipeg
PACIFIC: Anaheim, Dallas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Jose

straight off of NHL.com:
The National Hockey League announced today that it will not move forward with implementation of the Realignment Plan and modified Playoff Format recently approved by the NHL Board of Governors for the 2012-13 NHL season because the NHLPA has refused to provide its consent.

“It is unfortunate that the NHLPA has unreasonably refused to approve a Plan that an overwhelming majority of our Clubs voted to support, and that has received such widespread support from our fans and other members of the hockey community, including Players,” said NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly. “We have now spent the better part of four weeks attempting to satisfy the NHLPA’s purported concerns with the Plan with no success. Because we have already been forced to delay, and as a result are already late in beginning the process of preparing next season’s schedule, we have no choice but to abandon our intention to implement the Realignment Plan and modified Playoff Format for next season.”

“We believe the Union acted unreasonably in violation of the League’s rights. We intend to evaluate all of our available legal options and to pursue adequate remedies, as appropriate.”

As a result of the League’s decision today, the NHL will maintain its current alignment and Playoff Format for the 2012-13 season.



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