AHL Announces Divisional Realignment for 2015-16

On Tuesday the American Hockey League announced the divisional and conference alignment beginning next season. The changes were necessary due to several teams relocating. As announced a while ago, five AHL teams with west coast NHL parent clubs will shift west to be closer to their NHL affiliate. In addition, Winnipeg moved their affiliate from St. John’s to Winnipeg and Montreal moved their affiliate from Hamilton to St. John’s.

The AHL has employed a five-team, three division format in previous seasons. That’s thrown out the door in favor of two eight-team and two seven-team divisions, similar to the NHL. Each conference will remain with 15 teams apiece.

In the Eastern Conference, the Atlantic Division will consist of:

  • Bridgeport Sound (NYI)
  • Hartford (NYR)
  • Hershey (WAS)
  • Lehigh Valley (PHI)
  • Portland (FLA)
  • Providence (BOS)
  • Springfield (ARI)
  • Wilkes-Barre/ Scranton (PIT)

The North Division will feature five New York-based teams as well as two Canadian clubs.

  • Toronto (TOR)
  • St. John’s (MTL)
  • Albany (NJD)
  • Utica (VAN)
  • Rochester (BUF)
  • Syracuse (TB)
  • Binghamton (OTT)

The Western Conference will see the addition of the new teams in the Pacific Division, while the Central has perhaps the most continuity from what was the Midwest Division.

Central Division:

  • Grand Rapids (DET)
  • Milwaukee (NSH)
  • Lake Erie (COL)
  • Rockford (CHI)
  • Chicago (STL)
  • Iowa (MIN)
  • Charlotte (CAR)
  • Manitoba (WPG)

The Pacific Division will consist of four teams relocating from the eastern United States as well as three teams previously in the AHL West Division.

  • Bakersfield (EDM)
  • Ontario (LA)
  • San Antonio (COL)
  • San Diego (ANA)
  • San Jose (SJ)
  • Stockton (CGY)
  • Texas (DAL)

Followers of the AHL will notice difference NHL affiliations for some teams. In addition to the Winnipeg and Montreal switch previously mentioned, the new affiliations are:

Colorado- from Lake Erie to San Antonio
Florida- from San Antonio to Portland
Arizona- from Portland to Springfield
Columbus- from Springfield to Lake Erie

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