Report: NHL Realignment Proposal Would Separate Hawks, Wings

Jonathan Toews, Jimmy Howard

Jonathan Toews, Jimmy Howard (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)

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(CBS) — The Blackhawks could be separated from their longtime rival Detroit Red Wings, according to a report by ESPN.

The report said the NHL would move to a four division format with two divisions in each conference, with Detroit moving to the Eastern Conference and the Hawks staying in the Western Conference.

The Hawks would be in the Western Conference Midwest Division with Colorado, Dallas, Minnesota, Nashville, St. Louis and Winnipeg. Detroit would move to the Eastern Conference Central Division, which would also feature Boston, Buffalo, Florida, Montreal, Ottawa, Tampa Bay and Toronto.

The remaining divisions would be the Eastern Conference Atlantic Division, featuring Carolina, Columbus, New Jersey, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington; and the Western Conference Pacific Division, featuring Anaheim, Calgary, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Jose and Vancouver.

According to the report, the playoff format would see the top three teams in each division getting a playoff berth with two wildcards in each conference.

The NHL last proposed a realignment in 2011 which was vetoed by the NHL Players’ Union.