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Stars notes: Realignment talk

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

NHL realignment is back on the front burner, and that’s good news for the Dallas Stars. The new plan hasn’t been finalized yet, but a plan for next season could be in place by the end of the month.

At this point the realignment scenario is said to be similar to what the league rolled out in December 2011, a four-conference alignment that will eliminate some of the geographical inequities of the current system. Winnipeg playing in the Southeast Division is one problem. The Stars, of course, have been itching to get out of the Pacific Division.

“The new system is dramatically better than the existent system,” said Stars president Jim Lites, who is keeping close tabs on the realignment issue. “The status quo is awful for us, and the change is 95 percent of what we would want.”

There have been some tweaks to that 2011 plan – apparently a few teams moved have been around to different conferences – but the Stars still are expected to be grouped with teams primarily in their own time zone, and would play more games in their own time zone. That will help with the team’s travel, among the toughest in the league. And it will bolster the team’s television broadcasts, which are hampered by the high number of divisional road games out West.

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