The new information from Friedman is that the four conference structure that had been contemplated has been dropped in favour of a more familiar two conference structure with each being divided into two divisions. The two "Western" Conference divisions will each be made up of seven teams, while the Eastern will consist of two eight team divisions. The Oilers will be part of the "Pacific" division (conference and division names are subject to change) with fellow Western Canadian franchises Vancouver and Calgary, as well as the three California-based teams (Anaheim, San Jose and Los Angeles) and the Phoenix Coyotes...at least for as long as they are in Phoenix (more on that later).
During the regular season the Oilers will play each of the 16 teams in the "Eastern" Conference twice, once at home and once on the road, which ensures that each team will play in every city each year, something that NHLPA had been insistent on. That will account for 32 games of the 82 game schedule.
The team will also play 21 games against the other division in the West. That will include three games against each of the seven teams. Teams will alternate who gets the extra home game from season-to-season.
How are the Oilers Affected by the Proposed Realignment?
The Copper & Blue | Feb 27