PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. - It took less than an hour for NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to push through his vision for realignment at the league's Board of Governor's meetings on Monday.
Bettman needed 20 votes to carry the four-conference alignment format.
The board authorized Bettman to implement this proposal, pending input from the National Hockey League Players Association.
The league will now consist of two eight-team conferences and two seven-team conferences.
Every team will now play every other team outside its conference in a home and home series.
In the seven-team conferences, teams would play six times — three home, three away. In the eight-team conferences, teams would play either five or six times in a season on a rotating basis; three teams would play each other six times and four teams would play each other five times. This process would reverse each season.
The top four teams in each Conference qualify for the postseason.
The Conference format:
CONF. A CONF. B CONF. C CONF. D
Anaheim Chicago Boston Carolina
Calgary Columbus Buffalo NJ Devils
Colorado Dallas Florida NY Islanders
Edmonton Detroit Montreal NY Rangers
Los Angeles Minnesota Ottawa Philadelphia
Phoenix Nashville Tampa Bay Pittsburgh
San Jose St. Louis Toronto Washington