Skip to primary navigation Skip to main content

NHL board of governors approves realignment; Sabres get new division mates

The NHL will have a whole new look. For the Buffalo Sabres, it means an additional trip to the Sunshine State.

The league's board of governors, meeting in California, approved a four-conference format in its first realignment since 1998. The Sabres' new division will include traditional rivals Boston, Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa, while the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning are the newcomers.

The other divisions are:

*Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, the New York Rangers and Islanders, New Jersey, Carolina and Washington.

*Winnipeg, Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis, Nashville, Columbus, Dallas and Minnesota.

*Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Los Angeles, San Jose, Anaheim, Colorado and Phoenix.

Realignment became necessary when the Atlanta Thrashers moved to Winnipeg during the offseason.

Teams will play the teams in their conference six times, three at home and three on the road. There will also be a home-and-home series with every other team in the league, a change from the present format in which teams are guaranteed to meet only once.

Four teams from each of the conferences will make the playoffs. The first two rounds will feature teams from within the conference.

---John Vogl

comments powered by Disqus
John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |