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NHL Realignment 2012: Blackhawks Highlight New-Look West

The Blackhawks will play in the new-look West under the NHL's wild new conference realignment plan.

The NHL's Board of Governors voted today on a radical new realignment plan and details are trickling in by the minute. Here's what we know: the East and West will each feature two conferences and the Blackhawks will remain paired with their long-time rival, the Detroit Red Wings, in the new-look West. Check out this really cool map cooked up by the geniuses over at the SB Nation to get a good visual depiction of how all of this will work.

Our own Travis Hughes has the up-to-the-second info on how the new NHL playoff format will work.

  • As we mentioned, the top four teams in each conference will advance to the postseason.
  • From that point, the first two rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs will be intra-conference.
  • There will be four conference champions, each of whom will advance to a final four.
  • The four teams will be reseeded based on regular season results, with No. 1 playing No. 4 and No. 2 playing No. 3. The winners will meet in the Stanley Cup Final.

Keep it locked to SB Nation's NHL page and realignment stream for more news on this developing story. As always, Second City Hockey will have you covered on all things Blackhawks.