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About time - NHL realignment will put Dallas Stars in central time zone

Loui+Eriksson+Florida+Panthers+v+Dallas+Stars+jnK1Fo7cxt9lOne of the biggest disadvantages the Dallas Stars, and Texas Rangers, have is they both play in divisions that are primarily located on the West Coast. Team travel for the Stars from Love Field in Dallas can be a beating.

That should change soon as the NHL is finally moving forward with a plan to dramatically alter the current six-team division format, and the playoff pairings as well.

As much as NHL boss Gary Bettman liked the six-team conference format, because it meant six different markets were in first place, the current logistics of the East and West increasingly made less sense. 

According to Elliotte Friedman of CBS's "Hockey Night in Canada" the league is proposing a Mid-West Division in the Western Conference. It would be:

Chicago Blackhawks
Colorado Avalanche
Dallas Stars
Minnesota Wild
Nashville Predators
St. Louis Blues
WInnipeg Jets 

Kari+Lehtonen+Dallas+Stars+v+Los+Angeles+Kings+e1LqN1PXJ9AlThe only team to jump conferences would be the Detroit Red Wings, which would be in the Central Division in the East. A lot of NHL owners can't like the prospect of losing a home date against the big-draw Red Wings, but ... conference realignment is a must.

This new alignment would be a tremendous improvement for the Stars, which for years has had to travel to California to play the San Jose Sharks, Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks for a division game. The Stars' closest division rival is the Phoenix Coyotes.

This new format would mean the Stars would play division rivals that are less than a two-hour flight.

The playoffs would be the top three teams in each division. The remaining four spots would go to wild card teams.  Read more here from on the specifics of this new plan.


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Now, if we can just put them into perennial contention.

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