AHL Board of Governors Approves Plan for Schedule Unification
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. ... American Hockey League President and CEO Scott Howson announced that the league's Board of Governors has approved a schedule unification plan that will see all teams play a 72-game regular-season schedule beginning in 2022-23.
As part of the plan, for the 2021-22 season, teams in the Atlantic, North and Central Divisions have the option of playing either 76 or 72 games, while teams in the Pacific Division will play 68 games. Additionally, there will be an increase in the number of teams qualifying for the Calder Cup Playoffs each year; details will be finalized and announced later in the offseason.
"I am very pleased that we were able to achieve a schedule of 72 games for all teams in the American Hockey League," said Howson. "In coming together to create a plan that is fair and equitable, our owners have demonstrated a commitment to the long-term strength of the league."
The following division alignment has been approved for the 2021-22 AHL season (National Hockey League affiliations in parentheses):
Eastern Conference Atlantic Division Bridgeport Islanders (New York Islanders) Charlotte Checkers (Florida Panthers) Hartford Wolf Pack (New York Rangers) Hershey Bears (Washington Capitals) Lehigh Valley Phantoms (Philadelphia Flyers) Providence Bruins (Boston Bruins) Springfield Thunderbirds (St. Louis Blues) Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (Pittsburgh Penguins)
North Division Belleville Senators (Ottawa Senators) Cleveland Monsters (Columbus Blue Jackets) Laval Rocket (Montreal Canadiens) Rochester Americans (Buffalo Sabres) Syracuse Crunch (Tampa Bay Lightning) Toronto Marlies (Toronto Maple Leafs) Utica Comets (New Jersey Devils)
Western Conference Central Division Chicago Wolves (Carolina Hurricanes) Grand Rapids Griffins (Detroit Red Wings) Iowa Wild (Minnesota Wild) Manitoba Moose (Winnipeg Jets) Milwaukee Admirals (Nashville Predators) Rockford IceHogs (Chicago Blackhawks) Texas Stars (Dallas Stars)
Pacific Division Abbotsford (Vancouver Canucks) Bakersfield Condors (Edmonton Oilers) Colorado Eagles (Colorado Avalanche) Henderson Silver Knights (Vegas Golden Knights) Ontario Reign (Los Angeles Kings) San Diego Gulls (Anaheim Ducks) San Jose Barracuda (San Jose Sharks) Stockton Heat (Calgary Flames) Tucson Roadrunners (Arizona Coyotes)
Teams playing 76 games in 2021-22: Chicago, Cleveland, Grand Rapids, Hershey, Lehigh Valley, Milwaukee, Rochester, Springfield, Syracuse, W-B/Scranton
Teams playing 72 games in 2021-22: Belleville, Bridgeport, Charlotte, Hartford, Iowa, Laval, Manitoba, Providence, Rockford, Texas, Toronto, Utica
Teams playing 68 games in 2021-22: Abbotsford, Bakersfield, Colorado, Henderson, Ontario, San Diego, San Jose, Stockton, Tucson
The playing schedule and postseason format for the 2021-22 season, which begins Oct. 15, will be announced this summer.
In operation since 1936, the AHL serves as the top development league for the players, coaches, managers, executives and broadcasters of every National Hockey League organization. Nearly 90 percent of today's NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame spent time in the AHL in their careers.
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