In a statement made by National Hockey League Players' Association executive director Donald Fehr, who approved the realignment on Thursday, the new realignment will take place for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 National Hockey League regular seasons and then be re-evaluated.
Under the new divisional realignment, there will be four divisions instead of six, with 16 teams in the Eastern Conference and 14 teams in the Western Conference.
The Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks will move from the Northwest Division to the Pacific Division, while the Colorado Avalanche and the Minnesota Wild will move from the Northwest to the newly formed Midwest Division, joining the Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues and Nashville Predators.
The Dallas Stars will move from the Pacific Division to the Midwest Division and the Winnipeg Jets will move from the Southeast Division to the Midwest Division as well.
In the Eastern Conference, the five teams presently in the Northeast Division will join the Detroit Red Wings, Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers in the Central Division. While the Carolina Hurricanes and Washington Capitals will move from the Southeast Division to the Atlantic Division and the Columbus Blue Jackets will move from the Central Division to the Atlantic Division.