Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

REALIGNMENT ARRIVES; the Blues Will Remain in the Western Conference and Central Division but Will Have Some New Divisional Foes; NHL PREVIEW - BLUES PREVIEW

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

REALIGNMENT ARRIVES; the Blues Will Remain in the Western Conference and Central Division but Will Have Some New Divisional Foes; NHL PREVIEW - BLUES PREVIEW

Article excerpt

Nearly two years after the idea was first proposed, NHL realignment is here for the 2013-14 season.

In 2011, the NHL's Board of Governors approved a plan that was unveiled to the public but never implemented because it did not receive the support of the players' association. At the time, tempers were testy as the league and the union were preparing for a work stoppage.

The lockout lasted four months and then in March, after the NHL made some changes to its blueprint, the NHLPA gave its consent and a new four-division format was officially introduced in July.

The Western and Eastern conferences remain intact, and in fact, the Blues will play in what still will be called the Central Division. They are joined by Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Minnesota, Nashville and Winnipeg.

The teams are geographically aligned and all the cities are in the Central time zone except for Colorado.

"I love it," Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said. "I think it doesn't affect the St. Louis Blues as much as it affects a lot of other teams. But except for Denver, all of our competition is in the same time zone. I think that is a great way to grow the game.

"The 7 o'clock starts for kids, no matter how young you are, you can watch one period. Most kids can watch at least two periods and you're not up till 3 o'clock in the morning trying to watch the end of a hockey game out West. I like the setup, I like the format." The Blues will play opponents in the Central a combined 29 times this season (five times each, except four against Colorado). They will face off against clubs from the new Pacific Division 21 times (three times each). That division features Anaheim, Calgary, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Jose and Vancouver.

The Eastern Conference will be made up by the Atlantic and Metropolitan divisions. The Blues will play twice against each team in the East once home and once away as clubs are now guaranteed to see every opponent in every building.

"I like playing everybody home and home," Armstrong said. "I think it's great for our fans to know that every year, they're going to get to see (Washington's Alex) Ovechkin, they're going to get to see (Pittsburgh's Sidney) Crosby ... they're going to get to see the best players from around the planet come through St. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.