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Re-Aligning the American Hockey League

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It looks as if the National Hockey League isn’t the only hockey league re-aligning its teams next season. On Thursday, David Andrews, President and CEO of the American Hockey League announced that the AHL’s Board of Governors approved a new divisional alignment for the league.

There are not many changes included in the re-alignment.

The first of the changes includes moving the Abbotsford Heat, AHL affiliate of the Calgary Flames, to the newly renamed West Division.

Next, the Iowa Wild, quite obviously the AHL affiliate of the Minnesota Wild, is being placed in the Midwest Division.

Finally, we have the Utica Comets, AHL affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks, being moved into the North Division.

The Complete Alignment is as follows:

EASTERN CONFERENCE

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Atlantic Division

North Division

Manchester Monarchs

Hamilton Bulldogs

Portland Pirates

Lake Erie Monsters

Providence Bruins

Rochester Americans

St. John’s Icecaps

Toronto Marlies

Worcester Sharks

Utica Comets

Northeast Division

Midwest Division

Adirondack Phantoms

Chicago Wolves

Albany Devils

Grand Rapids Griffins

Bridgeport Sound Tigers

Iowa Wild

Hartford Wolf Pack

Milwaukee Admirals

Springfield Falcons

Rockford Icehogs

East Division

West Division

Binghamton Senators

Abbotsford Heat

Hershey Bears

Charlotte Checkers

Norfolk Admirals

Oklahoma City Barons

Syracuse Crunch

San Antonio Rampage

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

Texas Stars

 

The playoff format will remain the same as it was in the 2012-13 season.

There are 8 teams in each conference that qualify for the post season. The three divisional winners in each conference will earn the top 3 seeds, followed by the next 5 best teams in their respective divisions in order of regular season points.

The Conference Quarterfinals round will be a best-of-five series, where the Conference Semifinals, Conference Finals, and the Calder Cup Finals will be a best-of-seven series.

As it was with the previous season, the teams will be reordered after the first round so that the highest-remaining seed faces the lowest remaining seed.

Currently, there is no official schedule for the 2013-14 season as of yet; however, it is expected to be announced later this summer.

After their exciting season and playoffs performance last season, the Syracuse Crunch look to hit the ice with the same intensity next season. The Tampa Bay Lightning affiliates will host their home opener on October 12th at the War Memorial Arena.

I don’t know about you, but I am excited for the new AHL season. New divisions mean new challenges.

Do you think Syracuse is ready to Crunch the competition next season? What are your thoughts on the new AHL alignment? Sound off in the comments below and let us know what you think.

 

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Tags: Ahl Syracuse Crunch Tampa Bay Lightning

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