Jets will find home in Central
|Hockey fans cheer on the announcement of the NHL's return to Winnipeg on May 31, 2011. (QMI Agency/Bernice Pontanilla)
WINNIPEG - The Winnipeg Jets are expected to play in the Central Division of a realigned NHL in 2012-13.
Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leopold told KFAN Sports Radio 1130 in Minneapolis last Thursday that the Jets will play in the Central along with the Minnesota Wild, Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues, Nashville Predators, Dallas Stars and possibly the Columbus Blue Jackets.
“I am all in favour of that,” Leopold told the radio station. “I think that is a grand slam home run, hat trick for our team.”
The Blue Jackets are the wild card in the realignment plan, as they could still move to the Eastern Conference and make room for the Colorado Avalanche to join the Central.
A realignment scenario which is being discussed by NHL governors will feature two divisions in each conference, with either eight or seven teams in each division.
The other Western Conference division would be the Pacific and it would feature the Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, San Jose Sharks, Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks and possibly the Avalanche.
It’s believed both the Blue Jackets and Detroit Red Wings want to move to the Eastern Conference, though it’s possible only the Red Wings will get their wish.
The teams would play each team in their division five or six times and would play every other team in the league twice, meaning Jets fans will get to see every team in the league at least once after next season.
The top four teams from each division would make the playoffs.