and Red Wings
, both Original Six members, will be divisional rivals under the new plan. (Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)
By Allan Muir
The gang that has made an art out of saying no finally said yes.
After two weeks of internal discussion and polling its members, the NHL Players' Association today agreed to go along with the NHL's proposed realignment plan.
With one caveat: they reserve the right to reevaluate the plan after the 2014-15 season.
Fair enough. Their consent allows the NHL to move forward with scheduling the 2013-14 season. It also gives both the league and the member teams the green light to start planning for the changes that are coming.
And by the summer of 2015, the league may be looking at an expansion program that would require another realignment anyway.
Anyway, nice to be able to get past this roadblock and focus on the ways this will improve the game moving forward.