(NEW YORK) — The National Hockey League is going to look different beginning next season. The league announced on Thursday that it will realign from six divisions to four, after receiving approval from the board of governors and the NHL Players’ Association.
The Eastern Conference will feature two eight-team divisions while the Western Conference will have two seven-team divisions. The Detroit Red Wings and the Columbus Blue Jackets will be switching to the East while the Winnipeg Jets will be moving to the West.
The way teams qualify for the playoffs has changed as well, with the top three teams in each division receiving a postseason berth. The next two teams with the best record in each conference will clinch a wild-card berth.
The four divisions will look like this:
Eastern Conference A: Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs.
Eastern Conference B: Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals.
Western Conference A: Anaheim Ducks, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, Phoenix Coyotes, San Jose Sharks and Vancouver Canucks.
Western Conference B: Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators, St. Louis Blues and Winnipeg Jets.
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Tana Bolinger, FamilyShare
James Hanlon, CNN
Adam Forsgren, EastIdahoNews.com Columnist