Realignment promises to be the major topic of the NHL’s Board of Governors meetings tomorrow in Pebble Beach.
According to the CBC (video), below is the radical proposal that’s being presented to the BOG:
A two-thirds majority (20 of 30 teams) is needed to approve any plan, with speculation it will be the eastern teams that don’t want their travel to increase that would kill the above proposal, if it doesn’t end up passing.
Another group that’s apparently against the plan is the NHLPA. The New York Post reports that the players’ union thinks it “would be unfair to teams in the eight-team divisions” and that there are “concerns about changes in the schedule that would create increased travel.”
Of course, the NHLPA doesn’t have a vote; however, with a new CBA needing to be negotiated, the league might not want to generate any unnecessary acrimony.
So what’s the likelihood it will pass?
Via USA Today:
If it’s assumed — and it’s not confirmed — that every Western team supports the four-conference plan, then five Eastern votes would be needed to pass. Of course, one of the Eastern teams is the Winnipeg Jets, formerly known as the Atlanta Thrashers. It’s their need to be regrouped with Western teams that is the genesis for realignment. Presumably, they support the four-conference concept. That means only four more Eastern votes would be needed for passage, and supporters of the four-conference seem to believe that the Philadelphia Flyers are now in their corner. Now it’s down to three.
Chances are, Gary Bettman knows exactly whose votes he’s got. The commissioner won’t want to risk coming out of the meeting and saying, “Yeah, they didn’t go for it.” And if that’s the case, realignment is on the way.