Friday, February 22, 2013
By Victoria Matiash
UPDATE: Nearly there. TSN's Darren Dreger suggests the NHL could have a new conference/division formula hammered out by the beginning of March, with the approval of the NHLPA.
"Progress on realignment discussions and planning, but don't expect announcement until end of next week or the week following ..."
The NHL and the NHL Players Association may be close to resolving the issue of realignment for 2013-14. That's the opinion of at least one owner, in any case.
According to the Pioneer Press, Craig Leopold of the Minnesota Wild suggests the league and NHLPA are near agreement on a proposal akin to the one passed by the NHL board of directors in December 2011.
"I'm under the belief that we are very, very close to getting it settled for next year," Leipold said Thursday.
Although both sides have been hushy-hushy on the subject of late, discussions are believed to be going reasonably well.
"My understanding is that we need to make sure (players) are part of the process," Leipold added. "And right now they are part of the process. Their input is being discussed right now."
The PA threatened to challenge the last proposal, but that was before a new collective bargaining agreement was settled. With a minor tweak or two, a similar blueprint is anticipated in the end.