NHL players are officially on board with the league’s plan for realignment.
“After discussions with the Executive Board, the NHLPA has given consent to realignment, to be re-evaluated following the 2014-15 season,” said the union’s executive director, Don Fehr, in a statement released Thursday evening.
In December of 2011, the NHL announced a “radical” realignment plan that split the league into four “conferences” as opposed to its current structure of two conferences with three divisions in each.
However, the NHLPA eventually scuttled the plan, citing concerns over travel as well as the fairness of the proposed playoff qualification system.
The league’s last reported proposal was back to two conferences — Western and Eastern — with four divisions.
New York Islanders
New York Rangers
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly released the following statement following the union’s announcement:
“The NHL Players’ Association confirmed to us today that it has consented to a revised plan for realignment, effective for the 2013-14 season. Our next step will be to bring the proposed plan for realignment to the NHL Board of Governors for its consideration. We will update the status of the process as future developments warrant.”
Related: NHL will address how expansion/relocation impacts realignment if it happens.
For more on this story visit: Jason Brough, NBC Sports Pro Hockey Talk