As you no doubt have heard, the NHL will look radically different starting next season. Â Originally, the Board of Governors were considering a simple interconference swap of Detroit or Columbus with Winnipeg. Â Instead, they largely voted in favour of a much grander realignment that has created four separate conferences. Â Let’s take a look at some of the ramifications of this realignment that apply directly to the Maple Leafs.
1. While the format of the final two rounds of the playoffs have not yet been clarified (the GMs will decide the matter in March), it is quite likely that Toronto could end up playing a team from the former Eastern Conference for the Stanley Cup. Â While this will not include anyone directly within our new unnamed “conference”, the possibilities of a seven game series with the likes of the Penguins, Rangers or Flyers is certainly exciting. Â The Penguins, Flyers, and even the Capitals are successful new-era teams stacked with young talent. Â On the other hand, facing off against New York for the Stanley Cup is an original six matchup that most never thought we’d see in this day and age.