The NHL realignment plan that would have shifted the league to a four-conference format and made travel much nicer for the Detroit Red Wings will not go into effect in 2012-13. In fact, it may not go into effect ever after the NHLPA refused to sign off on it, citing concerns about travel and unbalanced conferences (two would have had eight teams and two would have had seven).
Considering how happy the Red Wings were with the new plan, it's no surprise that they are upset with the NHLPA's move to block it. Red Wings senior vice president Jimmy Devellano is especially upset with the move.
"I'm disgusted and disappointed but not entirely surprised by that union,'' Devellano told MLive.com.
With the collective bargaining agreement set to expire after the 2011-12 season comes to a close, this is not a good sign for future labor talks. The last thing the NHL needs right now is another work stoppage, but if the handling of realignment is any indication, it could be a long summer for hockey fans.