Richard Morin Arizona Republic Published 12:58 PM EST Dec 4, 2018 The Arizona Coyotes will be moving to the Central Division prior to the 2021-22 season, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman confirmed on Tuesday. As part of the NHL Board of Governors’ announcement to award the league’s 32nd franchise to Seattle, the group also approved a realignment package that calls for the Coyotes to move into the Central, making way for the unnamed Seattle team to play in the Pacific Division. Currently, there are seven teams in the Central and eight in the Pacific, so simply adding one more team (Seattle) to the Pacific would make the Western Conference extremely lopsided. Although the situation is less than ideal for the Coyotes, it is the simplest solution for the NHL to facilitate Seattle’s arrival. While some have suggested the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers should move to the Central and either the Colorado Avalanche or Dallas Stars move to the Pacific, the fact remains that it is easier to move one team than three. However, the situation does create a rather brutal travel schedule for the Coyotes. Instead of routinely playing teams in close proximity, such as the Vegas Golden Knights, Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim… Read full this story
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