February 10, 2013
NHL taking second look at realignment
By QMI Agency
The National Hockey League is taking another look at realigning that would go into effect for the 2013-14.
Last winter, the NHL announced a plan to split the teams into four conferences — two with seven teams and two with eight teams — but the NHLPA nixed the idea.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed to the New York Post that the league was looking at reconfiguring the league.
“We are working on a realignment plan for next season,” Daly wrote, “but it has not been finalized or approved (by the board of governors) yet.”
The union must also approve any changes to the current divisional and playoff structure.
NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr told the Post the union’s objections in 2012 were based on increased travel, and the inequity of only four teams qualifying for the playoffs from conferences of seven and eight.
“We expect to talk with the league on the subject this week,” Fehr said. “A year ago, when we raised the issue of increased travel for teams, the league did not have mock schedules for us to review that might have alleviated our concern.
“We had an issue with the fact that teams would either have a mathematical advantage or disadvantage of qualifying for the playoffs depending upon whether they’d be in a seven-team or eight-team conference.”
LANGENBRUNNER OUT FOR SEASON
St. Louis Blues veteran Jamie Langenbrunner is likely out for the season after the team announced he will undergo surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left hip.
The 37-year-old had one assist for the Blues in four games, but has provided ample leadership to both the Blues and his past clubs the New Jersey Devils and Dallas Stars.
He has 243 goals and 420 assists in 1,109 NHL games played.
HALAK TAKEN OFF IR
The St. Louis Blues will be getting back starting goalie Jaroslav Halak, who has been out the last four games due to a groin strain.
The Blues will send callup Jake Allen back to the American Hockey League’s Peoria Rivermen and likely make Brian Elliot ride the pine.
Elliott has lost his last four games, allowing 16 goals, and inciting the wrath of head coach Ken Hitchcock.
BRIEFLY: Jay Pandolfo is travelling with the Boston Bruins despite not having a contract. The Bruins have signed the 38-year-old to a professional tryout agreement … Pittsburgh Penguins blueliner Kris Letang has been placed on injured reserve, retroactive to last Tuesday, with a lower body injury. In his stead will be 2011 first-round pick Joe Morrow. Letang has three goals and six assists in 10 games with the Pens.