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NHL realignment plan: how to keep Blackhawks and Red Wings in same division while also improving league.

Grant expansion franchises to Seattle and Kansas City.

Eastern Conference:

Atlantic Division: Boston, New Jersey, New York Islanders and Rangers.

Northeast Division: Buffalo, Montreal, Pittsburgh and Toronto.

Southeast Division: Carolina, Florida, Nashville and Tampa Bay.

Capital Division: Columbus, Ottawa, Philadelphia and Washington.

Western Conference:

Central Division: Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota and Saint Louis.

Southwest Division: Colorado, Dallas, Kansas City and Pheonix.

Northwest Division: Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Winnipeg.

Pacific Division: Anaheim, Los Angeles, San Jose and Seattle.

Reduce regular season schedule to 66 games.

3 home + 3 road vs. each team in same division = 18.

1 home + 1 road vs. each team in other divisions of same conference = 24.

1 home + 1 road vs. half the teams-alternated per season-in other conference = 16.

1 home or road-alternated per season-vs. other half of teams in other conference = 8.

Keep 16 team playoff format.

4 division winners-seeds 1 thru 4-play top 4 wild cards-seeds 5 thu 8-in each conference.

Best 3 of 5(2-3)in all playoff series until Stanley Cup Finals, then best 4 of 7(2-3-3).

Stanley Cup Finals always completed by Memorial day.

Adopt new points system:

Regulation win = 5 points.

Overtime win = 4 points.

Shootout Win = 3 points.

Shootout loss = 2 points.

Overtime loss = 1 point.

Regulation loss = 0 points.

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