Eastern Conference (NHL)
The Eastern Conference is one of the two conferences in the highest North American ice hockey league , the National Hockey League . It contains a total of 16 of the 31 teams in the NHL and is divided into two divisions : the Atlantic Division and the Metropolitan Division .
The Eastern Conference has existed since the 1993/94 season under its current name, which was given to it in order to align the NHL with the geographical naming system of other US sports leagues (e.g. NBA ). The Eastern Conference is the successor to the Prince of Wales Conference , which was founded in 1974/75 when the NHL became too big for two divisions after continuing expansion .
Until 1998 there were only two divisions and a division-based playoff mode in which the four best teams in a division played for division victory and then the two winners for the conference title. With further expansion of the NHL that was no longer possible. The Southeast Division was added in the 1998/99 season and a different playoff mode was introduced, in which the three division winners are placed directly and the remaining five places were filled with the teams with the highest points in all divisions.
At the beginning of the 2013/14 season , the existing concept was changed again. With the addition of new teams such as the Minnesota Wild and the Columbus Blue Jackets and the move of the Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg , the new geographical distribution made a reorganization necessary. For this purpose, the Southeast Division was dissolved and the Atlantic was renamed Metropolitan Division, while the former Northeast Division is now called Atlantic Division; in addition, the Detroit Red Wings and Columbus Blue Jackets switched to the Eastern Conference, while the Winnipeg Jets switched in the opposite direction. This results in 16 teams in the Eastern Conference, which were divided into eight teams each between the two remaining divisions ( Atlantic and Metropolitan).
With this restructuring, the allocation of play-off places also changed. In the now two divisions, the first three teams are directly qualified for the play-offs after the end of the regular season, while the remaining two places are filled with the best points from both divisions. This also makes it possible for one division to have five teams for the play-offs and the other only three. The winner of the play-offs of the Eastern Conference receives the Prince of Wales Trophy and plays against the winner of the Western Conference for the Stanley Cup.
(on the right in the map in blue )
(on the right in the map in green )
- Dan Rosen: Realignment plan approved by the Board of Governors . nhl.com, March 14, 2013 (English) accessed on December 4, 2013