NHLPA Says No To Realignment

January 12, 2012

After the NHL’s board of governs made the decision to realign the league, hoping for next season, they had to first get consent from the Player’s Association. Alignment has been a topic of discussion in the hockey community lately, and fans have had split decisions on whether or not the alignment makes sense. The NHLPA decided against the alignment and denied consent, which means its back to the drawing board for the board of governs.

Since the player’s association has refused to agree to the new alignment terms, the re-alignment that was set to take place for the 2012-2013 season will have to be delayed.  The main reason for this is due to the amount of time officials in the NHL need to plan the schedule for all 30 teams for next season.  If this new alignment plan went as planned today, they still would be rushing to finish the schedule in time for next season. So now the BOG is forced with the task of trying to appease the the player’s association and to find a plan that will work for everyone.

Some of the hockey organizations such as the Dallas Stars, Columbus Blue Jackets and The Minnesota Wild are upset that the NHLPA has denied consent to this new format for the league.  The NHLPA has defended their position because they said they are not convinced that this new form of the current setup is going to work. They had asked the BOG for explication of how they propose this new plan will work in practice but are not confidant, which is why they have rejected the new plan.

One of the other major reasons that the player’s association is denying consent is due to the unevenness that comes with the four conferences. Two the conferences will be made up of seven teams, while the other two have eight. Due to the way the BOG wants the playoffs to run, with this plan teams in the conferences with seven teams will mean it will be easier to get into the playoffs, or so the NHLPA says. The NHLPA also is concerned with finances about traveling due to having teams that usually don’t play each other play more often during the season. This is a valid point as already there is not enough money in the league in comparison to bigger national leagues like the NFL. Which all hockey fans can agree, as comes trade time and teams have to trade certain fan favorites due to the salary cap.

For now the league is stuck with having the Winnipeg Jets in the Southeast Division, for another season as they try to work out another new revised alignment plan that will hopefully be in effect for the 2013-2014 season.

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About D.Vasso

I am a recent graduate of West Chester University of Pennsylvania, where I hold a BA in English with a minor in creative writing. My career aspirations lie mostly in novel writing, but I also have an interest in sports journalism. I wrote soccer and hockey articles for my University's student newspaper and I currently write for two other sports blogs in addition to Ballhyped. I am the NHL beat writer for Ballhyped, and pretty much live and breathe for the sport of ice hockey.

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