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NHL realignment plan to feature wild cards for playoffs

The National Hockey League's plan for realignment would shrink the league's six divisions to four and add playoff wild-card spots for the playoffs, reports ESPN.com.

The report says that the NHL sent a memo to all 30 teams on Tuesday. The new setup would have divisional instead of conference playoffs. Each division winner with the most points in the regular season would play the lowest-seeded wild card team in the 1st round, and the other division winner plays the other wild-card.

Here is how the conferences would stack up. The plan must be approved by the league's board of governors.

The Eastern Conference would feature the Atlantic and Central divisions while the Western Conference would have the Mid-West and Pacific divisions.

The Pacific Division would feature Anaheim, Calgary, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Jose and Vancouver.

The Mid-West: Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Minnesota, Nashville, St. Louis and Winnipeg.

The Central: Boston, Buffalo, Detroit, Florida, Montreal, Ottawa, Tampa Bay, Toronto.

The Atlantic: Carolina, Columbus, New Jersey, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington.

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