Minnesota Hockey Update: NHL approves new realignment planMinnesota Sports
-- The NHL Board of Governors approved a realignment format on Monday that will feature four conferences for next season. The new plan eliminates the current two-conference, six-division model.
PEBBLE BEACH, Calf. -- The NHL Board of Governors approved a realignment format on Monday that will feature four conferences for next season.
The new plan eliminates the current two-conference, six-division model. Under the format, two conferences will have eight teams and the other two conferences will have seven. Under the new plan, Minnesota will be in the same conference as Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Nashville, St. Louis and Winnipeg.
Minnesota-Duluth is the new No. 1 team in the nation in men's college hockey. The defending national champions are now 11-3-2 on the season and jumped four spots in this week's USCHO-dot-com poll. The University of Minnesota jumped three spots to No. 2 in this week's survey. The Golden Gophers are 13-4-1 on the year. No other Minnesota team is in the Top 20. WCHA member Colorado College is ranked sixth, Denver is 13th, and North Dakota enters the poll at 19th. UMD will put that No. 1 ranking on the line this weekend in a series at UW-Madison.
The University of Minnesota women's hockey team remains ranked second in the country in this week's USCHO.com. The Gophers are 15-3 on the season and trail top-ranked Wisconsin in the rankings. Bemidji State is rated seventh, while Minnesota-Duluth is tenth.
The red-hot Minnesota Wild will face the Sharks in San Jose this evening. Minnesota ran its winning streak to four with a 5-3 victory over the Ducks on Sunday. Minnesota has won nine of its last 11 overall to enter tonight's tilt 17-7-3 on the season. The puck drops at 9:30 p.m.