NEW YORK -- Re-alignment for the 2012-13 NHL season is on the agenda for Tuesday's Board of Governors' meeting here in Manhattan. It will likely be discussed at length, but no final decisions are expected.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said at his State of the League address prior to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final that the Winnipeg Jets would play only one season in the Southeast Division before moving into a more geographically logical division. That, of course, means re-alignment is necessary. Moving the Jets, though, could facilitate a larger scale re-alignment and a more balanced schedule.
It's possible that the Board of Governors will discuss changing the structure of the conferences by creating four divisions of seven or eight teams. Columbus, Nashville and Detroit have reportedly expressed an interest in moving to the Eastern Conference.
"We have a number of clubs that would like to address specific issues on realignment," Bettman said in June. "All those clubs need an opportunity to be heard. That's a process we'll go through the first half of next season, looking at the issues that clubs want to raise, looking at various possibilities, and trying to figure out what will make the most sense moving forward.
"If I had to guess anything, and this is purely speculation, as much as I hate to do that, because ultimately it's a Board decision, I think we'll wind up moving towards a slightly more balanced schedule to accommodate the variety of issues I've heard so far from the clubs."
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