Monday, December 5, 2011

The Times, They Are A'Changing

It's pretty much official now: We will once again be looking at a new NHL come next season.

The NHL Board of Governors have approved a re-alignment format for the 2012-2013 season that looks to be ready to bring about much change to the way teams get to Lord Stanley's Cup.  The NHL will now consist of 4 Conferences, for now simply denoted as Conference 'A' through 'D'.  At the end of the regular season, each Conference's Top 4 will play quarterfinal and semifinal series to determine the winner of each Conference, leaving the Final 4.  Those four will then be paired off--likely Conference A vs B, C vs D--and the winners will meet for a shot at the Stanley Cup.

What does this mean in the long run for the Red Wings?  Well, the first thing that comes to mind after looking the format over is the change in scheduling.  Detroit will no longer be forced into multiple marathon west-coast road trips like recent years.  Every team will play the majority of their games against the other teams in their Conference.  Each team will now only play 1 away game against non-Conference opponents.

Though at this time the Commish still needs to bring the proposed format to the NHLPA, it's likely that this will be passed, and we will again see a new era of Detroit Red Wings hockey.