The NHL Players Association approved the league's latest realignment proposal for next season on Thursday with the provision that it be revisited in 2015.
The realignment, which has been discussed in some form since 2011, will be marked by the Winnipeg Jets moving to the Western Conference while the Detroit Red Wings and Columbus Blue Jackets will switch to the East. Also, the division will be reduced from six to four.
"After discussions with the Executive Board, the NHLPA has given consent to realignment, to be re-evaluated following the 2014-15 season," said the NHLPA executive director Don Fehr in a statement .
Deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the next step will be a vote of the Board of Governors for final approval.
Under the proposed plan, the league would be divided into two eight-team Eastern Conferences and two seven-team Western Conferences.
In addition, the new plan calls for divisional playoffs rather than the conference playoff system currently in place. The division winner with the most regular-season points would play the lowest-seeded wild-card team in the first round, with the other division winner playing the other wild-card team.