NEW DIVISION ALIGNMENT, PLAYOFF FORMAT, RULES FOR '14-'15
Manchester Monarchs (Los Angeles)
Portland Pirates (Arizona)
Providence Bruins (Boston)
St. John’s IceCaps (Winnipeg)
Worcester Sharks (San Jose)
Albany Devils (New Jersey)
Bridgeport Sound Tigers (N.Y. Islanders)
Hartford Wolf Pack (N.Y. Rangers)
Springfield Falcons (Columbus)
Syracuse Crunch (Tampa Bay)
Binghamton Senators (Ottawa)
Hershey Bears (Washington)
Lehigh Valley Phantoms (Philadelphia)
Norfolk Admirals (Anaheim)
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (Pittsburgh)
Adirondack Flames (Calgary)
Hamilton Bulldogs (Montreal)
Rochester Americans (Buffalo)
Toronto Marlies (Toronto)
Utica Comets (Vancouver)
Chicago Wolves (St. Louis)
Grand Rapids Griffins (Detroit)
Lake Erie Monsters (Colorado)
Milwaukee Admirals (Nashville)
Rockford IceHogs (Chicago)
Charlotte Checkers (Carolina)
Iowa Wild (Minnesota)
Oklahoma City Barons (Edmonton)
San Antonio Rampage (Florida)
Texas Stars (Dallas)
Changes from last season include:
• Calgary’s affiliate relocating from Abbotsford, B.C., to Glens Falls, N.Y., and playing in the North Division
• Philadelphia’s affiliate relocating from Glens Falls, N.Y. to Allentown, Pa., and playing in the East Division
• Syracuse moving from the East Division to the Northeast Division
• Lake Erie moving from the North Division to the Midwest Division
• Iowa moving from the Midwest Division to the West Division
The format for the 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs has also been approved by the Board of Governors and remains the same as 2014: 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 playing schedule for the 2014-15 regular season, which begins Oct. 10, will be announced later this summer.
Chaired by AHL President and CEO David Andrews, the four days of meetings, which concluded Thursday, also saw the approval of the following rules changes to be implemented beginning in 2014-15:
Rule 85 (“Overtime”)
- During the regular season, the sudden-death overtime period will be seven minutes (7:00) in length, preceded by a “dry scrape” of the entire ice surface.
- Teams will change ends at the start of overtime.
- Full playing strength will be 4-on-4 until the first whistle following three minutes of play (4:00 remaining), at which time full strength will be reduced to 3-on-3 for the duration of the overtime period.
- If the game is still tied following overtime, a winner will be determined by a three-player shootout.
Rule 20.4 (“Major Penalties”)
- An automatic game misconduct will be applied to any player who has been assessed two major penalties for fighting or three major penalties for any infraction in the same game.
Rule 9.6 (“Helmets”)
- A player on the ice whose helmet comes off during play will be assessed a minor penalty unless he immediately (a) exits the playing surface or (b) puts the helmet back on with the chin strap properly fastened.
“With the full support of the league’s Competition Committee and Player Development Committee, the Board has approved these changes with the betterment of our game and the safety of our players in mind,” said Andrews.
In operation since 1936, the AHL continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 88 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and for the 13th year in a row, more than 6 million fans attended AHL games across North America in 2013-14.
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