NHL Realignment: What It Means to the Los Angeles Kings

So, in the last 24 hours, the NHL board of governors has approved a drastic change to the alignment of the NHL and the format of the playoffs.

Personal opinion first: I think it's a fantastic idea. It's going to cut down on travel, spawn huge rivalries come playoff time, and it also leaves the league open to expansion since there are uneven conferences (Hartford or Quebec, perhaps?).

But when I saw the new division and playoff format, the first thing I thought was, "How does this effect my Kings?"

In case you missed it, the division as of next year will look like this:

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

We will play each of these teams six times—three home and three away.

Also, the top four teams will be taken out of each conference (divisions no longer exist), and the first TWO rounds of the playoffs will be within conference series. Division winner will play fourth, and second playing third.

Big change, right? From there on it's a reseeding of division winners, and again, one plays four and two plays three.

This means that it is a possibility for there to be something like a Detroit vs. LA SC Finals. Or a Pittsburgh-Montreal SC Finals. Exciting huh?

Some big points to think about if you are a Kings fan, though.

As usual, it will be a dogfight in the far West. Vancouver, San Jose and Phoenix are already solid teams, and in two or three years, Edmonton and Colorado are going to be very good teams, as well.

The competition just got ramped up. A lot.

Also, some bloodbath playoff series will arise. With only four teams moving on within conference, get used to possibly seeing the same teams for a few years in the first couple of rounds. And that's going to lead to history and hatred very quickly.

The Kings would likely have to duke it out each year ...

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