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NHL To Realign Divisions For 2012-13 Season

The NHL has decided that it will realign itself prior to the 2012-13 season, according to various reports. This is in large part due to the fact that the Atlanta Thrashers are moving to Winnipeg for the upcoming 2011-12 season, where they will still play in the Southeast Division. The other teams in Winnipeg's division are the Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers - none of them even remotely close to Winnipeg.

The realignment will likely have positive effects for the Dallas Stars as well. The Stars currently play in the Western Conference's Pacific Division, despite not being anywhere near the Pacific coast. The Stars currently share the division with the Sharks, Ducks, Coyotes and Kings - forcing the Stars to travel more for divisional road games more than the other four teams, including changing over two time zones to face the Sharks, Ducks and Kings.

The realignment will be finalized in December, with rumors circulating that the realignment will be based upon time zones.

Common sense prevails at long last.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.