15 years after losing the Jets to Phoenix, Winnipeg is set to once again have a team in the NHL. A press conference has been called for 12 p.m. (Eastern Time) by True North Sports and Entertainment to announce the relocation of the Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg. The team will begin play in Winnipeg starting next season.
Details about what the new Winnipeg team's name will be aren't out right now, nor are the plans for the NHL's divisions moving forward. Because the Thrashers played in the Eastern Conference's Southeast Division, realignment will have to happen at some point. Having a team in Winnipeg play in the Southeast on a permanent basis would be even more ridiculous than having the Red Wings in the Western Conference.
The belief is that the Winnipeg team will have to spend the 2011-12 season in the Southeast, making for some tough travel to play divisional opponents. A year from now, the expectation is for the NHL to realign its divisions, opening the door for the Red Wings to make a move to the Eastern Conference. It's not known how the NHL will realign the divisions just yet, but you can bet the Red Wings will try their best to be the team that gets to move to the East.
SB Nation Detroit has already examined a number of NHL realignment scenarios that could be on the table, and I think it's safe to say Red Wings fans hope scenario No. 1 happens and Detroit moves to the Northeast to be in the same division as the Canadiens, Maple Leafs, Senators and either the Bruins or Sabres.