It was announced today that the AHL’s Board of Governors has approved a realignment for the 2013-14 AHL season.
From the AHL:
Changes from last year’s alignment include Abbotsford moving to the renamed West Division, Iowa being placed in the Midwest Division and Utica being slotted in the North Division.
The format for the 2014 Calder Cup Playoffs was also approved by the Board of Governors, and remains the same as 2013: 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.
What is shocking about the realignment, from a purely geographical standpoint, is Charlotte’s placement in the Western Conference. As a member of the West Division — along with Abbotsford, Oklahoma, San Antonio, and Texas — Charlotte will have a travel schedule that would make the most road hard veteran’s head spin.
The Checker’s travel plans will include no trips shorter than 1,000 miles. To face the Stars, it will be a 1,160 mile trip to Cedar Park, TX., a 1,232 mile trip to San Antonio, another 1,085 miles to Oklahoma City, and nearly 3,000 miles to take on Abbotsford to take on the Heat.
Below is the entire divisional alignment:
Atlantic Division: Manchester Monarchs, Portland Pirates, Providence Bruins, St. John’s IceCaps, Worcester Sharks
Northeast Division: Adirondack Phantoms, Albany Devils, Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Hartford Wolf Pack, Springfield Falcons
East Division: Binghamton Senators, Hershey Bears, Norfolk Admirals, Syracuse Crunch, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
North Division: Hamilton Bulldogs, Lake Erie Monsters, Rochester Americans, Toronto Marlies, Utica Comets
Midwest Division: Chicago Wolves, Grand Rapids Griffins, Iowa Wild, Milwaukee Admirals, Rockford IceHogs
West Division: Abbotsford Heat, Charlotte Checkers, Oklahoma City Barons, San Antonio Rampage, Texas Stars