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Jackets To Stay In "West"

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The Four Division plan has passed, and reports on twitter (including Jackets play by play man Jeff Rimmer) indicate the Blue Jackets will stay in the "West", aligned in a division with Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis, Winnipeg, Dallas, Nashville, and Minnesota.

While this is not an ideal solution for the team (or for Detroit, who also wished to move East), this realignment will dramatically cut down on travel, as the schedule will only require one home and home series with teams in the Pacific and Mountain time zones, and also bring in guaranteed home games vs. popular draws such as the Penguins, Maple Leafs, Rangers, and Capitals.

If, as proposed, four teams from each division will qualify for the playoffs each season, the road to the postseason has not gotten easier for the Jackets, but the reduced travel and balanced scheduling is a big win.

It's not perfect, but it's certainly an improvement. The question is what this team will look like in 2012-13 as they compete in the "new" NHL.