Will realignment end Blackhawks-Red Wings rivalry?

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Tonight’s game between Chicago Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings is well underway, but it could very well be the end to what has been a fierce rivalry between the two Central Division teams.

The NHL’s new alignment, which will be implemented for the beginning of next season, will move the Detroit Red Wings to the new-look Eastern Conference. The Blackhawks will remain in the West.

Under a breakdown of the new alignment, the Blackhawks and Red Wings will play each other twice next season – once at home, once on the road. But will it ever be the same?

“I don’t mind the new realignment that the league decided to go with,” Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp told MLive.com. “But the one thing that does suck is not playing the Red Wings a number of times. I think the fans will always appreciate the rivalry and when we do see them it will be a special time.

“I like going to Detroit and playing in their building and I like it when they come here. They’re fun games to play in. Sometimes, when you play a team six or eight times, that builds rivalries. Sometimes, it kills them. You see the same faces over and over.

“Seeing those guys once or twice a year, the fans will be fired up for that game.”