Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – The National Hockey League is doing their best impersonation of a college football conference Monday, approving a complete realignment of the league into four conferences.
The proposal will move Florida to a division that will include: the Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, and Tampa Bay Lightning.
The move will increase travel expenses and the duration of road trips, but it would give fans across Canada the option of coming to South Florida to see their team take on the Panthers.
Based on the new format, the top four teams in each conference will make the playoffs.
The teams would play the first two rounds within their division, according to the Associated Press.
The league considered two plans to accommodate Atlanta’s move to Winnipeg this past summer.
The first would have moved the Jets to the Western Conference’s Central Division and either Detroit or Columbus to the Southeast in the Eastern Conference.
But there were issues with that plan that kept compounding with each potential solution as other franchises wanted to use realignment to solve their concerns, as well.