Calgary Flames Mike Cammalleri, left, and Lee Stempniak celebrate with Curtis Glencross in front of Phoenix Coyotes goalie Mike Smith after the Flames Curtis Glencross scored the game winner in NHL action at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, on February 24, 2013. The Flames beat the Coyotes 5-4. Mike Drew/Calgary Sun/QMI AGENCY
In 1998, Michael Cammalleri was just about to start his one and only season with the Bramalea Blues of the Ontario Junior Provincial Hockey League.
That was also the last time the NHL had four divisions.
When the Calgary Flames winger suits up for his 11th season next fall, he, along with the majority of players around the league, will get their first taste of larger divisions, after the league’s board of governors approved realignment and a new four-division format Thursday.
While concerns about unbalanced conferences — the East will have 16 teams and the West will have 14 — were raised when the parametres were first announced late last month, it apparently wasn’t nearly enough to kill the proposal.
“I think it makes perfect sense,” Flames head coach Bob Hartley stated simply Thursday after learning of the board’s approval. “I can do lots of things, but I can’t move cities.”
The goals during the realignment process were simple: Geography a