NHLOther Sports

The Possible NHL Realignment Plan for 2020


The Vegas Golden Knights have been a smashing success so far. Now, there’s a possibility of the NHL expanding again, to 32 teams this time. There are about 3 contenders competing for the latest expansion derby. The cities that want an NHL team are: Seattle, Washington Houston, Texas, and Quebec City, Quebec. Seattle has the lead so far after not being a factor for years. They are about renovate Key Arena in order to get an NHL Expansion team. If they get it, the earliest they would start playing is the 2020-2021 season. Then the NHL would want to realign its divisions, and possibly expand it to 8 divisions. The NFL has a similar look currently, and it has worked out for them. So the NHL wants to change its looks in the standings, hopefully for the better. Here is how it would look:

Eastern Conference:

Metropolitan Division:


New York Rangers

New York Islanders

New Jersey Devils

Philadelphia Flyers


Northeast Division


Pittsburgh Penguins

Columbus Blue Jackets

Boston Bruins

Buffalo Sabres


Central Division


Detroit Red Wings

Toronto Maple Leafs

Montreal Canadiens

Ottawa Senators


Southeast Division


Florida Panthers

Tampa Bay Lightning

Carolina Panthers

Washington Capitals


Western Conference:


Pacific Division:


Los Angeles Kings

Anaheim Ducks

San Jose Sharks

Vegas Golden Knights


Northwest Division


Expansion Team

Calgary Flames

Edmonton Oilers

Vancouver Canucks


Southwest Division


Nashville Predators

Dallas Stars

Arizona Coyotes

Colorado Avalanche


Midwest Division


Chicago Blackhawks

St. Louis Blues

Minnesota Wild

Winnipeg Jets


That is the proposed look if the NHL realigns in 2020-2021 season. Now they could still have their 82 game regular season. The setup as far as them playing the teams less as it follows. They would play their division opponents 12 times. They play the other 12 teams (non-division) a total of 36 times. Playing the other conference (16 teams) a home and home series only 2 games total. It would equal around 32 games. The other 2 games are for division play (like there main rival) if needed.


The playoff format would change dramatically in a big way. The emphasis on winning your division would be a huge factor. If you win your division, you automatically get to host a playoff series. It would be seeded 1 to 4. The other 4 teams would come from a 2nd place team in that division and making the first playoff series a division final (Best of 7). Then from rounds 2 to 4 it would consist of the best 8 teams left and will be seeded based on regular season record. If you win the division, you get to host the series. Now if you are the wild card, it would be based on record (in case of 2 wild card teams playing each other). This is how the new NHL could possibly look in a few years, unless we get a different city in the mix.





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  1. You have a decent alignment plan, but you split Boston/Montreal, Pittsburgh/Philadelphia, Washington/Phil-Pitt teams, and Nashville is too far to group in a small 4-team division w/ Arizona & Colorado. St. Louis is closer. So, I would do the following:

    WESTERN CONFERENCE: (15 West teams & 1 Flex team)
    Northwest Division: Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Seattle
    Pacific Division: San Jose, Los Angeles, Anaheim, Vegas
    Big West Division: Arizona, Colorado, Dallas, St. Louis
    Midwest Division: Winnipeg, Minnesota, Chicago, Detroit (Flex team)
    EASTERN CONFERENCE: (15 East teams & 1 Flex team)
    Northeast Division: Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Boston
    Metropolitan Division: N.Y. Rangers, N.Y. Islanders, New Jersey, Buffalo
    Atlantic Division: Columbus, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Washington
    Southeast Division: Nashville (Flex team), Carolina, Tampa Bay, Florida

    Have the 2 Flex teams Detroit & Nashville play balanced schedules to ease and even out their travels – this also legitimately allows either playoff-qualifying team to be placed into either the East or West playoff brackets as needed to help balance overall bracket strengths – to help get the top 16 teams in the League into the playoffs each year.

    – 12 East or 12 West teams play 14 games w/ 3 other teams in division (5, 5 or 4 games each – rotate/yr.), 33 games w/ all other 11 non-Flex teams in same Conference (3 games each), 5 games w/ 2 Flex teams (2 or 3 games each – rotate/yr.), 30 games w/ all other 15 non-Flex teams in other Conference (2 games each).

    – 3 East teams in Southeast Div & 3 West teams in Midwest Div play 12 games w/ 3 other teams in own division (4 games each), 10 games w/ all 4 teams in opposite div (Midwest or Southeast) (2 or 3 games each – rotate/yr.), 36 games w/ all other 12 teams in same Conference (3 games each), 24 games w/ all 12 remaining teams in other Conference (2 games each).

    – Flex teams Detroit & Nashville play 12 games w/ 3 other teams in division (4 games each), 30 games w/ all 12 other teams in same Conference (2 or 3 games each – rotate/yr.), 40 games w/ all 16 teams in other Conference (2 or 3 games each – rotate/yr.).

  2. Your realignment is decent, but some issues are you separated Boston/Montreal, Pittsburgh/Philadelphia, Washington/Phil-Pitt teams, and Nashville is just too far away from Arizona (and Colorado) to group together in a small 4-team division. St. Louis is closer to Arizona (and Colorado).

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