NHL Realignment Approved By NHLPA, Nashville Predators To Play In NHL Midwest Division


As reported by TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the NHL Players Association has signed off on the proposed NHL realignment plan:

The proposed plan had the teams divided up like so:

Atlantic Division Central Division Midwest Division Pacific Division
Carolina Hurricanes Boston Bruins Chicago Blackhawks Anaheim Ducks
Columbus Blue Jackets Buffalo Sabres Colorado Avalanche Calgary Flames
New Jersey Devils Detroit Red Wings Dallas Stars Edmonton Oilers
New York Islanders Florida Panthers Minnesota Wild Los Angeles Kings
New York Rangers Montreal Canadiens Nashville Predators Phoenix Coyotes
Philadelphia Flyers Ottawa Senators St. Louis Blues San Jose Sharks
Pittsburgh Penguins Tampa Bay Lightning Winnipeg Jets Vancouver Canucks
Washington Capitals Toronto Maple Leafs

The approval of the NHL realignment plan marks the end of an era for the Nashville Predators, who have played in the NHL Central Division since their inception. The team’s rivalry with the Detroit Red Wings will be reduced to an annual home-and-home series, which will disappoint a lot of fans. The Columbus Blue Jackets will also move east, taking away four games annually against what has historically been the easiest team in the league for the Nashville Predators to defeat.

As of the 2013-14 season, the Preds will be members of the NHL Midwest Division. The Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues will join them in the new division. The new blood will come in the form of the Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, and Winnipeg Jets. The benefit seems obvious in that Nashville projects to be better than most, if not all, of the new divisional opponents.

The downside of this NHL realignment is the travel. All four of those cities are at least 664 miles away from Nashville, with Winnipeg leading at a distance of 1,338 miles. Overall, though, the NHL realignment will only have Nashville traveling an extra 2,000 miles over the course of the season.

Tags: Nashville Predators NHL Realignment