PLAYERS APPROVE CHANGES, WILD PLAY SATURDAY 08 Mar 13

The NHL Players’ Association is signing off on the league’s realignment plan. The NHL plans to go from six to four divisions next season. The Minnesota Wild would be in a seven-team division that includes Chicago, St. Louis, Winnipeg, Colorado, Nashville and Dallas. Detroit and Columbus would move to the NHL Eastern Conference. The top three teams in each division will qualify for the postseason, with four other wild cards making up the 16-team playoff field. The realignment plan is still subject to approval by the NHL Board of Governors. If approved, realignment will make travel more efficient as well as restore multiple matchups with some traditional rivals.

The Wild wrap up their brief two-game road trip tomorrow night in Nashville against the Predators. Minnesota has lost two-of-three following Tuesday’s 5-3 setback in Chicago. The Wild sit at 11-9-and-2 on the season. The Preds are 9-9-and-5. They host the Oilers tonight before facing the Wild tomorrow.