In the end, the new realignment that the NHL Board of Governors has approved for next season makes the most sense for the Flyers.
The NHL is going from six divisions to what it is calling four conferences. The Flyers are listed in Conference D along with Carolina, New Jersey, the New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh and Washington.
One of the plans had the Flyers and Penguins in different conferences, but the two Pennsylvania teams will stay together, which makes the most sense.
The Flyers are part of a seven-team conference and will play each of the other six conference teams six times.
In addition, all teams will play two games against every team not in their conference, one home and one away.
So the Flyers will have 36 games against teams in their conference and 46 against the remaining 23 teams.
This seems like a good mix because it guarantees that every team visits the Wells Fargo Center once, while maintaining the geographical rivalries.
Commissioner Gary Bettman has been authorized to implement this proposal, pending input from the NHL Players’ Association.
Here are the other conferences:
Conference A: Anaheim, Calgary, Colorado, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Jose and Vancouver.
Conference B: Chicago, Columbus, Dallas Detroit, Minnesota, Nashville, St. Louis and Winnipeg.
Conference C: Boston, Buffalo, Florida, Montreal, Ottawa, Tampa Bay and Toronto.
The top four teams in each Conference qualify for the Stanley Cup
Playoffs. The first-place team would play the fourth-place team; the
second-place team would play the third-place team. The four respective
Conference champions would meet in the third round of the playoffs, with the survivors playing for the Stanley Cup.