The NHL Players Association has approved the NHL's proposal for realignment during the 2013-2014 season.
The National Hockey League and NHL Players Association have agreed upon a realignment plan for the 2013-2014. The proposal was accepted late Thursday evening, and will need to be approved by the NHL's Board of Governors before it can fully be put into effect. Donald Fehr stated that both sides will re-evaluate the current situation surrounding the re-alignment following the conclusion of the 2014-2015 regular season.
The NHL will remain with both Eastern and Western conferences, but they will be split up into two divisions. The New York Rangers will remain with the Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Islanders, and New Jersey Devils while adding on the Washington Capitals, Columbus Blue Jackets and Carolina Hurricanes.
The playoff format will have the top three teams from each of the four divisions make the playoffs, while the last two playoffs spots will go two the teams with the two best remaining records. The first two rounds of the playoffs will be played within the division, before the winner of each division plays in the conference finals.
The Western conference divisions will also contain only 14 teams, while the Eastern divisions will have 16. This could leave the door open for the possibility of relocation or expansion.