It would seem to me that the NHL should look to focusing more on Canada and should look to moving more teams to Canada. The problem back in the 1990s was that the Canadian dollar was worth so much less than the US dollar that the relative costs of the teams in Canada became a problem. With the new stability of Canadian dollar in the range of par with the US dollar and in general the Canadian standard of living significanly higher than 15 to 20 years ago, there is no end of money to support teams in Canada.
In the US there are 113 major league teams in the US, one team per 2.8 million people. Currently in Canada there are 9 major league teams or 3.9 million people per team. If Canada had the same population per team as the US there would be 12 and a half teams in Canada.
Clearly Quebec City and Hamilton should be able to have teams, if we add them to the mix, this means there are nine NHL teams in Canada and 11 major league teams. It would seem to me that it is realistic to see two more NHL teams in Canada. I would add a second one in Metro Vancouver, specifically in Surrey.
Winnipeg has a population of about 684,000. Surrey has a population of 475,000. There are another 125,000 in the Langleys, 55,000 in North Delta and 19,000 in White Rock to bring the "Greater Surrey" population to 674,000, or only slightly lower than Winnipeg. The Hamilton team would be the Toronto equivalent of the Surrey team.
With ten teams in Canada, there could be two completely Canadian divisions.
Canada West Canada East
In the US we then have the following
Pacific Central Northeast Atlantic
San Jose Minnesota Boston Washington
LA St Louis Rangers Philadelphia
Anaheim Nashville Islanders Carolina
Dallas Chicago New Jersey Tampa Bay
Colorado Detriot Buffalo Florida
You will notice Phoenix is gone, it will move to Canada.
The conferences would be East and West.
You keep the playoff format as it is now.