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AHL Announces New Divisions & Calder Cup Format

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … American Hockey League President and CEO David Andrews announced that the league’s Board of Governors, convening this week for its Annual Meeting in Hilton Head Island, S.C., has approved the following division alignment for the 2011-12 AHL season (NHL affiliates in parentheses):

Eastern Conference
Atlantic Division

Manchester Monarchs (LA)
Portland Pirates (PHX)
Providence Bruins (BOS)
St. John’s (WPG)
Worcester Sharks (SJ)

Northeast Division
Adirondack Phantoms (PHI)
Albany Devils (NJ)
Bridgeport Sound Tigers (NYI)
Connecticut Whale (NYR)
Springfield Falcons (CBJ)

East Division
Binghamton Senators (OTT)
Hershey Bears (WSH)
Norfolk Admirals (TB)
Syracuse Crunch (ANA)
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (PIT)

Western Conference
North Division

Grand Rapids Griffins (DET)
Hamilton Bulldogs (MTL)
Lake Erie Monsters (COL)
Rochester Americans (BUF)
Toronto Marlies (TOR)

Midwest Division
Charlotte Checkers (CAR)
Chicago Wolves (VAN)
Milwaukee Admirals (NSH)
Peoria Rivermen (STL)
Rockford IceHogs (CHI)

West Division
Abbotsford Heat (CGY)
Houston Aeros (MIN)
Oklahoma City Barons (EDM)
San Antonio Rampage (FLA)
Texas Stars (DAL)

The format for the 2012 Calder Cup Playoffs was also approved by the Board of Governors. Eight teams in each conference will qualify for the postseason, with the three division winners earning the top three seeds and the next five best teams in order of regular-season points seeded fourth through eighth.

The conference quarterfinals will be best-of-five series; the conference semifinals, conference finals and Calder Cup Finals will be best-of-seven series. Teams will be re-ordered after the first round so that the highest-remaining seed plays the lowest-remaining seed.

The regular-season schedule format is still to be determined, and the complete playing schedule for the 2011-12 regular season, which begins Oct. 7, will be announced later this summer.

In operation since 1936, the AHL continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 87 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and for the 10th year in a row, more than 6 million fans attended AHL games across North America in 2010-11.

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, Minor League, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ahl

Comments

Avatar

Good deal. The old division-crossover playoff system was pretty lame.

Also, it’s hilarious to me that Rochester, NY is in the Western Conference. It’s about as far east as D.C., but the AHL is so skewed to New England that it doesn’t matter.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 07/05/11 at 02:54 PM ET

NHLJeff's avatar

Charlotte is also in the “West.” they’re going to have quite the travel schedule.

Posted by NHLJeff from Pens fan in Chicago, IL on 07/05/11 at 03:03 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

Rochester, NY is in the Western Conference

That is funny because (I know very little of the AHL besides Grand Rapids) I was thinking that it must be Rochester, MN to be in the Wast. lol

This east/west shite has got to go.

Posted by SnLO from the sub great-white north on 07/05/11 at 03:11 PM ET

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They really should be called the “Northeast” and “Rest of the Continent” conferences.

Charlotte is also in the “West.” they’re going to have quite the travel schedule

To be fair, Abbotsford is the ONLY team in the entire league that isn’t in either the Eastern or Central time zones.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 07/05/11 at 03:15 PM ET

detroitdan1982's avatar

To be fair, Abbotsford is the ONLY team in the entire league that isn’t in either the Eastern or Central time zones.

Not true!

The St. John’s farm team is in its own time zone, Newfoundland time! 90 minutes ahead of Eastern time.

Is the schedule being released soon? And does Grand Rapids switching to the Western Conference mean that they won’t be visiting St. John’s? That would be a major disappointment for this Wings fan.

Posted by detroitdan1982 from St. John's, NL on 07/05/11 at 03:40 PM ET

detroitdan1982's avatar

Totally missed the line in there about the schedule being released later in the summer. Fingers crossed that the Griffins will be visiting St. John’s!

Posted by detroitdan1982 from St. John's, NL on 07/05/11 at 03:42 PM ET

Avatar

Whoops, sorry about missing St. John’s.

Grand Rapids, though, was already in the Western Conference. The Charlotte Checkers are the team that switched from East to West.

They haven’t announced a schedule format yet, so I have no idea if the Griffins will be visiting your fair city.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 07/05/11 at 03:43 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

So, the Portland Pirates (PHX) aren’t in the PST zone?  wink

Posted by SnLO from the sub great-white north on 07/05/11 at 03:58 PM ET

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So, the Portland Pirates (PHX) aren’t in the PST zone? 

Portland, Maine.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 07/05/11 at 03:59 PM ET

Avatar

Yay!  Rochester and Grand Rapids are still in the same division!  This is good news for me.  I want to get out to at least one of the games in Rochester.

Posted by puppydogbones from Muskegon currently residing in Sabres land on 07/05/11 at 04:39 PM ET

Avatar

Norfolk and Charlotte should be in the same division….Putting Charlotte in with Chicago is a joke…but at least most of those are direct flights…oh wait it’s only a long bus trip…

GR should have its hands full with those teams….maybe a foreshadowing of the Wings moving East to play against Toronto, Buffalo, and Montreal?

Posted by dca from Alexandria VA on 07/05/11 at 10:30 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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