The National Hockey League Board of Governors Monday approved a four-conference alignment format that places the Penguins in a conference with Philadelphia, Washington, the New York Rangers, the New York Islanders, New Jersey and Carolina.
Pending input from the National Hockey League Players' Association, the format will create two eight-team conferences and two seven-team conferences.
"We are happy to maintain our traditional rivals and think this new format will be good for the league," said Penguins CEO David Morehouse.
Under the format, each team would play every other team outside its conference twice -- once home, once away.
In the seven-team conferences, teams will play each other six times - three home, three away. In the eight-team conferences, teams will play either five or six times a season on a rotating basis.
The top four teams in each conference qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs. The first-place team would play the fourth-place team; the second-place team would play the third-place team. The four respective conference champions would meet in the third round of the playoffs, with survivors playing for the Stanley Cup.
The Conference format:
|CONF. A ||COnf. B ||CONF. C ||CONF. D |
|Anaheim ||chicago ||boston ||carolina |
|calgary ||columbus ||buffalo ||new jersey |
|colorado ||dallas ||florida ||ny islanders |
|edmonton ||detroit ||montreal ||ny rangers |
|los angeles ||minnesota ||ottawa ||philadelphia |
|phoenix ||nashville ||tampa bay ||pittsburgh |
|san jose ||st. louis ||toronto ||washington |
|vancouver ||winnipeg || || |