The NHL is inching closer to its long-awaited realignment strategy, according to reports this week by the CBC and ESPN.
The process was derailed last winter when the NHL Players' Association refused to approve the league's idea, which already had been passed by its board of governors. But the two sides have been working toward a compromise since the lockout was resolved last month. Players wanted a formula in which the odds of making the playoffs weren't skewed against better teams and travel concerns were addressed.
How will this affect the Capitals? Actually not all that much compared to the initial realignment proposal. Washington still will rejoin its former Patrick Division rivals in a reformed Atlantic Division. Old foes the Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers, New York Rangers, New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils would be joined by the Caps, the Carolina Hurricanes and the Columbus Blue Jackets. The top three seeds in the division would make the playoffs with the potential for two more wild-card spots depending on point total.
- Brian McNally