No East-West Confrences
6 Divisions with 5 teams in each division.
Det Red Wings
Tor Maple Leafs
Clb Blue Jackets
Most team rivalries still exist in each division except for maybe Washington and Pittsburgh but other teams can fill that void.
Play 6 games vs. all of teams in division. (3 home 3 away) (24 games)
2 games against all other teams. (1 home 1 away) (50 games)
Total 74 games. Less regular season games allows for 1 more playoff series and hopefully players will be able to stay healthier instead of a 82 game grind.
2 pts for Regulation win. 0 for Loss. 2 pts for OT win. 0 for Loss. OT is 10 min of 4-4. 2 pts for Shootout Win. 1 for Loss. With 5 shooters per team. Hopefully doubling the length of OT and still having the OT loser get 0 points may reduce shootout occurences.
Expecially in divisional play where one team doesn't want to give the other any points.
Top 4 of the 5 teams in each division make the playoffs (Also can be know as Pre-Playoff Seeding).
1st vs. 4th and 2nd vs. 3rd.
Then winners of each matchup faceoff for Division Crown instead of the team with the most points at the end of the regular season.
The first "half" of the playoffs is more like "playoff seeding" since it is all divisional games with the winner moving on to league wide playoffs. Those first 2 rounds are best of 5 so they'll be short and with limited travel within the division.
All remaining 6 teams (Division Winners) are re-seeded based on Regular season points.
1st vs. 6th. 2nd vs. 5th. 3rd vs. 4th.
After that round, the highest ranked team remaining gets a bye to the Finals.
These 2 or 3 rounds (depending on rankings) are Best of 7 series.
The Prince of Wales Trophy and Campbell Cup would going to the two team that meet in the finals. With the higher ranked team winning the older of the two trophies.
This system allows Bettman to have more playoff hockey for his failed expansion teams. So sad. But even with more teams to make the playoffs in each division, they still could lose the series 3-0. So more playoff hockey, but quicker playoff exits in the first 2 rounds.