A lot has changed in the hockey world since the Chicago Blackhawks skated around with the Stanley Cup at the end of June. For one the league has gone through another realignment, the third in 20 years and has restructured their playoff format. While most leagues are adding divisions, the NHL is taking them away; going from six back to four divisions. The Playoff format is also a DeLorean ride to the past as it is similar to the format used during the 1980’s. Each division has its own mini tournament; the difference now from the old days is that the top three teams in each division make the playoffs with two Wild Cards in each conference.
There are 16 teams, eight in each division in the Eastern Conference, while there are 14 teams in the Western Conference and seven in each division. What does this mean? Expect expansion to be coming to the NHL soon, with teams likely being added to Seattle and Quebec City. The Southeast Division and Northwest Division are gone, as the Winnipeg Jets have moved from the East to the West, while the Columbus Blue Jackets and Detroit Red Wings are now in the Eastern Conference. The Atlantic Division from last year is now the Metropolitan Division, while the Northeast Division is now the Atlantic Division. Confused? Don’t worry you have 82 games plus and Olympic Break to figure it all out. If you want to see what division your team is in and how they might do this year click below.