On Monday, the NHL Board of Governors approved a radical realignment of the league and its divisions. With the Winnipeg Jets coming into the fold, it's as though the league was just looking for a reason to spring some kind of realignment on folks, and now it's done. The San Jose Sharks will now compete in a "conference" (division) against the Anaheim Ducks, Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche, Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, Phoenix Coyotes and Vancouver Canucks. That's adding Colorado, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver, while subtracting the Dallas Stars - which is somewhat of a shame, because those games have always been entertaining.â†µ
There's an awful lot to consider about the realignment (which I personally dislike, due to the fact that less games are being played against teams that are actively fighting you for playoff positioning), and you can check out this post for those notes and specifics. For the Sharks, losing a division rival sucks, and they're facing some stiff competition with the newcomers, too. Both Edmonton and Colorado are up-and-comers, and could be very good in a couple seasons.
This also means that the Sharks will no longer play the Detroit Red Wings in the first two rounds of the playoffs, what with the new structure (again, the link is here), and to me, that's the worst thing about this.â†µ