Not So Fast

NHL’s realignment plan on hold after NHLPA rejects changes
The Canadian Press – 1/6/2012 8:05:40 PM
NEW YORK — The NHL’s planned realignment has been blocked by the players’ union.
The plan to change from six divisions to four conferences for next season had been approved in December pending consent from the NHL Players’ Association.
But in a statement Friday the league said the union would not allow the change to be made. Instead, the NHL will maintain its current alignment and playoff format for the 2012-13 season.
Deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the league was unable to address the union’s unspecified concerns with the change.
“It is unfortunate that the NHLPA has unreasonably refused to approve a plan that an overwhelming majority of our clubs voted to support, and that has received such widespread support from our fans and other members of the hockey community, including players,” Daly said in the statement.
“We believe the union acted unreasonably in violation of the league’s rights. We intend to evaluate all of our available legal options and to pursue adequate remedies, as appropriate.”
The off-season relocation of the Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg forced the NHL to draft a new conference alignment in December. The new plan also addressed teams’ travel concerns, guaranteed home-and-home series for every team and made changes to the playoff format.
Shortly after the board of governors approved the plan, commissioner Gary Bettman said the league didn’t need the union to sign off on the plan to make the changes.