AHL ANNOUNCES DIVISION ALIGNMENT FOR 2010-11 - League at 30 active teams for first time heading into 75th anniversary season

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … American Hockey League President and CEO David Andrews announced that the league will operate with an all-time high of 30 active teams in 2010-11, which will also mark the AHL’s historic 75th season.

All 30 National Hockey League teams will have their own primary affiliate playing in the AHL next fall. The league’s Board of Governors has approved the following division alignment for 2010-11 (NHL affiliates in parentheses):

Eastern Conference
Atlantic Division
Bridgeport Sound Tigers (NYI)
Hartford Wolf Pack (NYR)
Manchester Monarchs (LA)
Portland Pirates (BUF)
Providence Bruins (BOS)
Springfield Falcons (CBJ)
Worcester Sharks (SJ)

East Division
Adirondack Phantoms (PHI)
Albany Devils (NJ)
Binghamton Senators (OTT)
Charlotte Checkers (CAR)
Hershey Bears (WSH)
Norfolk Admirals (TB)
Syracuse Crunch (ANA)
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (PIT)

Western Conference
North Division
Abbotsford Heat (CGY)
Grand Rapids Griffins (DET)
Hamilton Bulldogs (MTL)
Lake Erie Monsters (COL)
Manitoba Moose (VAN)
Rochester Americans (FLA)
Toronto Marlies (TOR)

West Division
Chicago Wolves (ATL)
Houston Aeros (MIN)
Milwaukee Admirals (NSH)
Oklahoma City Barons (EDM)
Peoria Rivermen (STL)
Rockford IceHogs (CHI)
San Antonio Rampage (PHX)
Texas Stars (DAL)

The format for the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs will be determined by the Board of Governors at its Annual Meeting in Hilton Head Island, S.C., July 5-8. The complete playing schedule for the 2010-11 regular season, which begins Oct. 8, 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 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.

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