Speculation: Jackets May Move to the East After All

Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reports that Commissioner Gary Bettman presented a proposal to the board of governors that would see the league move to a four division format, with Detroit and Columbus moving to the Eastern Conference. Of course this is just the early stages, and subject to change, but it lends hope to the idea of Columbus playing a majority of their games in the Eastern time zone. It's speculated that the four divisions will consist of a Pacific, Midwest, East and South division. Here's my stab at what those divisions may look like:

PACIFIC MIDWEST EAST SOUTH
Vancouver Winnipeg Montreal Washington
San Jose Minnesota Toronto Carolina
Los Angeles Colorado Ottawa Tampa Bay
Anaheim Dallas Boston Florida
Phoenix Chicago Buffalo Columbus
Calgary St.Louis NY Rangers Philadelphia
Edmonton Nashville NY Islanders Pittsburgh
Detroit New Jersey

 

As I was going through the teams, geographically I don't see how both Detroit AND Columbus can both move to the East. The only way I can see this working is if under this divisional format, the Eastern Conference divisions (East and South) both have eight teams each, with the Western Conference divisions each having seven squads. Also, referring to these divisions by these names doesn't make a lot of sense-Philly and Pittsburgh in the south?

I'm all for realignment, I would love for the Jackets to be in the Eastern Conference-but if these are the proposed divisions, rename them and make the Eastern Conference 16 teams and the Western Conference 14 teams. That said, here's what I'd like to see:

SMYTHE DIVISION NORRIS DIVISION ADAMS DIVISION PATRICK DIVISION
Vancouver Canucks Winnipeg Jets Toronto Maple Leafs Columbus Blue Jackets
Calgary Flames Minnesota Wild Montreal Canadiens Detroit Red Wings
Edmonton Oilers Colorado Avalanche Ottawa Senators Pittsburgh Penguins
Los Angeles Kings Dallas Stars Buffalo Sabres Philadelphia Flyers
Anaheim Ducks Chicago Blackhawks Boston Bruins Washington Capitals
San Jose Sharks Nashville Predators New York Rangers Carolina Hurricanes
Phoenix Coyotes St.Louis Blues New York Islanders Tampa Bay Lightning
New Jersey Devils Florida Panthers

 

What are your thoughts? Is there a way for both Detroit and Columbus to be in the Eastern Conference, while keeping 15 teams in each division?

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