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NHL Roundup: Realignment details revealed; Khabibulin, McDonald on IR

The SportsXchange

The NHL's realignment plan would reduce the number of divisions from six to four and alter the playoffs to include wild-card teams. If the proposal is approved by the NHL Players' Association and the NHL Board of Governors, it would be implemented next season.

The new postseason setup would include divisional playoffs instead of seeding based on conference finish during the regular season. The top three teams in each division would secure berths and the remaining four spots would go to wild cards.

Under the realignment plan, Detroit and Columbus would switch from the Western Conference to the Eastern Conference. The new Eastern Conference would break down into Atlantic and Central divisions, and the Western Conference would have Mid-West and Pacific divisions:

The divisions would look like this:

Atlantic: Carolina, Columbus, New Jersey, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington.

Central: Boston, Buffalo, Detroit, Florida, Montreal, Ottawa, Tampa Bay, Toronto.

Mid-West: Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Minnesota, Nashville, St. Louis and Winnipeg.

Pacific: Anaheim, Calgary, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Jose and Vancouver.

---In Injury news, the Edmonton Oilers placed veteran goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin on injured reserve with a groin injury suffered Feb. 23 in a game against Phoenix and reaggravated the groin in an overtime loss to Chicago on Monday night. He will miss at least four games. Backup goalie Devan Dubnyk will take Khabibulin's place. The Oilers also called up Yann Danis from Oklahoma City of the American Hockey League to back up Dubnyk.

In St. Louis, wingers Andy McDonald and Andy Steen were hurt during practice. McDonald has been placed on injured reserve with a left knee injury, while Steen is day-to-day with an upper body injury.

---In player moves, the Nashville Predators assigned forward Brian McGrattan to Milwaukee of the American Hockey League. McGrattan has appeared in two games for the Predators this season after playing in 30 games last season.

Also, the Tampa Bay Lightning recalled forward Pierre-Cedric Labrie and defenseman Brendan Mikkelson from the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League.

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