With the move of the Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg realignment is necessary so the divisions don't look like the 14 years the Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals were in the NFC East.
There've been a number of different proposals floating around. The Toronto Star had a few the other day, including one with an all-Canadian division. But the NHL -- if they do indeed go forward with a bigger realignment job than just simply swapping Winnipeg with Detroit or Columbus -- wants to try make the setup more travel and time zone friendly, which will be tough. Just look at the geography:
The setup of the NHL, with the way the teams are spread out, is going to leave with some team(s) not being happy with the final product. The Red Wings have wanted to move to the East for years. Dallas has to travel two time zones for their part in the Pacific Division. And Minnesota can't be happy either being in the Northwest.
Here's what I'd like to see from realignment. Allow me to present the 3,457,281th proposal.