Another round of CBA talks, and another week void of good NHL news in terms of trades, signings, or anything of the sort.

We’re now stuck in this empty space where it’s tough to speculate on the upcoming season because we’re unsure as to whether there will be one.

That didn’t stop The Hockey News from rolling out their annual NHL Standings prediction piece, where the Leafs were slotted 12th in the East. Fair.

Something I did notice yesterday was that we’ve dismissed last year’s proposed NHL realignment plan about as quickly as the players’ union did. Or maybe I just hang out with people who didn’t want to bring it up. Remember, the four conference set-up that would have drastically changed the landscape of the league? That plan.

As sure as we are that eventually there will be an end to this CBA stalemate, there will also be realignment. Whether it takes months to sort out, or a couple of years, it’s going to happen. Winnipeg aren’t staying in the Southeast, and when that’s over, the whole picture should change.

At the time of this most recent attempt at realignment, the NHLPA cited a lack of information as their reason for denying the move. Now that talks have kicked into gear around the collective bargaining agreement, I’d say it’s fair to assume switching around the conferences, divisions, and playoffs format will follow. This is obviously something the NHL has major interest in, they just went about it in a pretty dumb way the first time around.

It’s been a boring wait for something to come of this whole negotiating thing. As fans, we’d much rather hear about who’s on the trade market or which battles are coming up in camp, but none of that is in the forefront this year. I figured since we sort of forgot (I did, anyway) about realignment for a while, it might be something worth discussing again.

This is what the most recently proposed plan looked like mid-way through this past season. How much will it change?

Tuesday morning links

No vacation time for Nazem Kadri (Kyle Cicerella)

Carlyle gets ripped in worst 3 minutes of television ever (The Score) *note: this is painful to watch

James van Riemsdyk and the curse of #21 (TLN)

Marek vs. Wyshynski Radio

Leafs prospect performs well in tournament (TLN)

Joe Colborne: As he is (Blue Chip Prospects)

Leafs still lack leadership (The Hockey Writers)

Free agents that could help the Leafs (HockeyTracker)

Have another link? Toss it in the comments.

Email and follow @rfan_3