The league is expected to switch some teams around, to better address the disparity in travel most current Western Conference teams face compared with Eastern teams. Also, the move is aimed to better align teams for more natural geographic rivalries.
The Detroit Red Wings, tonight's Avalanche opponent, is on record as wanting to either play in the Eastern Conference next season or play in a conference/division that has many more games in Eastern and Central time zones. The Columbus Blue Jackets want the same thing, as they are the two teams in the Western Conference that play in Eastern time zones. Both play 11 road games that start at 9 p.m. or later for their fans to watch, and both have to travel to more time zones than any other team. At least one team is almost certain to get its wish, with the Winnipeg Jets — currently in the Southeast — likely to move to a Western/Central division/conference.
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