Realignment plan keeps Pens with rivals

The Penguins wanted to make sure when realignment plans were announced by the NHL, they were able to play their biggest rival ... the Flyers. Now, not only do the Pens and Flyers stay together in the most recent plan approved by the NHL Board of Governors on Monday, but you can throw the Caps into the mix as well.

The new plan would double the number of conference to four from two, and add a new twist to the playoffs. The Pens fall into the cleaver named Conference D along with the Canes, Devils, Rangers, Isles, Flyers and the Capitals.

Conferences with 7 teams, like Conference D with the Pens, play each other six times and the remaining games are played against all the other teams in a home-and-home. This sucks. Now you're guaranteed to play on the road at each west coast team. I hate playing on the west coast.

As for the new playoff setup, the top 4 teams from each conference make the playoffs. Each conference will have their own mini playoff with No. 1 playing No. 4 and No. 2 playing No. 3. The four winners of their conference then make the semi-finals of the Stanley Cup. It hasn't been decided how the seeding would be decided with the four remaining teams. It also hasn't been decided the series length getting out of your own conference. I would assume it would stay at a best of 7.

With this approval by the NHL Board of Governors on Monday night with at least two thirds of the owners approving it, it now goes to the NHLPA for their vote.

What are your thoughts? Let me know on Twitter at @knucklepucker


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