In early December, the NHL announced that next season would bring a radical realignment to the conference format and post-season schedule. The league was to split into four conference, no divisions, and the first two rounds of the playoffs were to be contested within the conference. This would be similar to how the playoffs worked in the ‘Gretzy Era’ – when the Kings would often meet up with Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver.
Another major change that was to take place would be a regular season schedule where all teams would play each other at least once at home and on the road. The positives of such a schedule are endless (and long over due), including stars like Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby coming to LA every year – instead of only once every few years.
Well, the plan was shot down by the NHLPA last week. Privately, some players had told me they weren’t happy with the way the NHL went about ‘force feeding’ them the change. Additionally, Kings’ defenseman Jack Johnson had no problem speaking his mind on the record…
“I’d like to see more teams,” he began. “I had no idea we disapproved it until it was even announced. I’d like to play all the teams and see everyone. I’m pretty surprised actually that it was disapproved. I guess we’ll see where it goes.”
Expect much more on this story in the weeks to come.
If you missed NHLPA head Donald Fehr on MayorsManor last spring, here’s a quick link. At the time, he was in town to meet with several agents and to review his overall plan. We were the only outlet covering the meetings and provided additional interviews with Anze Kopitar’s agent Pat Brisson (link) and Dustin Brown’s agent, Scott Norton (link).