The New York Rangers will face more competition in a 16-club conference next season under the National Hockey League’s realignment plan.
The plan, which adds one team to the Eastern Conference, was approved yesterday by the NHL Players’ Association. It still needs approval from the NHL board of governors.
“The NHL Players’ Association confirmed to us today that it has consented to a revised Plan for realignment, effective for the 2013-14 season,” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement.
Under the plan, the East will have eight teams in each division rather than five in three divisions. The West will have two divisions of seven clubs apiece.
Each conference will still have eight teams in the playoffs, comprising the top three teams from each division and the next two teams with the best records as wild cards, the Washington Post reported.
The Rangers will play in the Atlantic Division with Carolina, Columbus, New Jersey, the New York Islanders, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Washington. The Central Division will contain Boston, Buffalo, Detroit, Florida, Montreal and Ottawa.
The West’s Midwest Division will have Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Minnesota, Nashville, St. Louis and Winnipeg, while the Pacific Division will be made up of Anaheim, Calgary, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Jose and Vancouver.
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