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    Inside the NHL realignment plan

    The Red Wings would move to a new division with the Bruins under the proposed NHL realignment plan.
    Rebecca Cook/REUTERS
    The Red Wings would move to a new division with the Bruins under the proposed NHL realignment plan.

    The NHL unveiled its new realignment plan last week, which could potentially go into effect next season. The biggest change is the switch from six divisions to four, but some teams will need to adjust more than others.

    A look at the proposed new divisions:

    EASTERN CONFERENCE

    ATLANTIC DIVISION

    Carolina

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    Columbus – Having played all 12 of its seasons in the West’s Central Division, it can only get better for the Blue Jackets with a fourth straight last-place finish likely ahead.

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    New Jersey

    NY Islanders

    NY Rangers

    Philadelphia

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    Pittsburgh

    Washington

    CENTRAL DIVISION

    Boston

    Buffalo

    Detroit – The Red Wings head back to the East for the first time since the league’s initial expansion era, giving the division four of the NHL’s Original Six franchises.

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    Florida

    Montreal

    Ottawa

    Tampa Bay

    Toronto

    WESTERN CONFERENCE

    MIDWEST DIVISION

    Chicago

    Colorado

    Dallas

    Minnesota

    Nashville

    St. Louis

    Winnipeg – The Jets finally get their reward for relocating from Atlanta; that is, getting out of the Sun Belt and back to a cluster that will greatly reduce their trip mileage.

    PACIFIC DIVISION

    Anaheim

    Calgary

    Edmonton – The Oilers’ talented young core will try to put the franchise back on the playoff map by competing in a deep division with some good young goaltenders.

    Los Angeles

    Phoenix

    San Jose

    Vancouver