Wednesday, June 16, 2010

AHL to Open With 30 Teams for 2010-11 Season

Next season marks the 75th season of the American Hockey League and it seems fitting that it will be the biggest and best season they have ever had. The league has had it's struggles with stability in the past and many hockey markets have been tried, but the league still continues to produce the quality talent in players as well as coaching.
More than 85 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and for the ninth year in a row, more than 6 million fans attended AHL games across North America in 2009-10.
In a recent press release, the AHL seems elated enough to declare this upcoming season to feature 30 teams in active competition - the most the league has ever had at one time. The divisional alignment, an awkwardly and uneven division of 4 groups, will soon settle in to new rivalries as well as continue old ones.

I think the Board of Governors accepted the alignment so that it might be fair to all parties involved. It still looks a little awkward in having a few teams in mismatched divisional alignment. For instance, the Charlotte Checkers are in the East division when in fact they have a better geographic fit on the Atlantic Coast.

According to the press release, they are still going to determine the format for the Calder Cup post-season this summer, but so far the developmental league looks to be pretty strong this year.

[Via: The AHL]
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