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CBA talk: What's going on regarding realignment?

The NHL’s proposed realignment plan seems to have gotten lost somewhere in that vast economic gulf that exists between the owners and the union. While hardly the key piece of the puzzle when it comes to ratifying a new CBA it’s a little strange the topic has seemingly been swept under the rug. Why the silence on the matter? More after the jump…

The NHL’s proposed realignment plan seems to have gotten lost somewhere in that vast economic gulf that exists between the owners and the union. While hardly the key piece of the puzzle when it comes to ratifying a new CBA it’s a little strange the topic has seemingly been swept under the rug. The players and owners have both said that common ground has been forged on many non-economic issues but no one on either side has uttered a peep regarding realignment that I’ve heard. You remember the proposed realignment don’t you? It was that bold reshuffling that moved the Winnipeg Jets west and spelled the death of the Southeast Division. Under the proposal, the Panthers were to have joined Boston, Buffalo, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, and Tampa Bay in a new seven team conference. The NHLPA nixed the idea and the NHL decided to shelve the subject until…well, now. Why the silence on the matter? With the schedule already set for next season (provided one is played) is the issue simply too contentious to add to the battle over the almighty dollar right now? Will the subject be pushed back until next off-season or will the two sides come to a quick agreement on the matter as one of the final pieces of these negotiations? Will we get the radical realignment the NHL proposed earlier this year or will the league simply tweak the matrix a bit to allow the Jets to fly west and to get Dallas out of the Pacific? Is it possible that as part of the new CBA deal we will see expansion teams added soon, delaying the need for any realignment other than swapping the Jets for a Western Conference club? What exactly is the deal? These are interesting questions that need answering at some point.

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