If this was next season, with the implementation of a realignment in the NHL approved by the Board of Governors on Thursday, the Red Wings would be holding the last wild card playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, one point ahead of the Rangers.

That is based on the current NHL records, as teams entered play Thursday.

They also would be fifth in their division, three points behind the Senators for the last non-wild card playoff position, and 11 behind the Canadiens for the division lead.

Of course, this is not next year, and when it is, the Red Wings will have a significantly different schedule, playing 29 games against teams in their division, 21 games with the other teams in the conference and 32 nonconference games.

So, records should be different.

But will the Red Wings record be better, or worse, and how will it affect their fate?

Realignment clearly means significantly less travel for the Red Wings, including during the playoffs, with their membership in the Eastern Conference, much better viewing habits for fans, with many more 7 p.m. starts and many fewer at 10 p.m. and the renewal of ancient rivalries with the Canadiens, Maple Leafs and Bruins.

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130315/SPORTS0103/303150335#ixzz2NcXitv00