American Hockey League

Last updated

American Hockey League
Upcoming season or competition:
Hockey current event.svg 2021–22 AHL season
AmericanHockeyLeaguelogo.svg
American Hockey League logo
Sport Ice hockey
Founded1936 (IHL/C-AHL Interlocking schedules); 1938 (IHL/C-AHL formally merged)
President Scott Howson
No. of teams31
CountriesUnited States (26 teams)
Canada (5 teams)
Most recent
champion(s)
Charlotte Checkers (1st title)
Most titles Hershey Bears (11) [1]
TV partner(s)Canada (English): Sportsnet/Sportsnet One
Canada (French): Réseau des sports
Europe: Premier Sports
United States (English): NHL Network
United States (Spanish): ESPN Deportes
United States (English): AHL.TV (Internet app)
Official website www.theahl.com
The alternate logo of the AHL. American Hockey League alternate logo.svg
The alternate logo of the AHL.

The American Hockey League (AHL) is a professional ice hockey league based in the United States and Canada that serves as the primary developmental league for the National Hockey League (NHL). [2] Since the 2010–11 season, every team in the league has an affiliation agreement with one NHL team. When NHL teams do not have an AHL affiliate, players are assigned to AHL teams affiliated with other NHL teams. Twenty-six AHL teams are located in the United States and the remaining five are in Canada. The league offices are located in Springfield, Massachusetts, and its current president is Scott Howson. [3]

Contents

In general, a player must be at least 18 years of age to play in the AHL or not currently be beholden to a junior ice hockey team. The league limits the number of experienced professional players on a team's active roster during any given game; only five skaters can have accumulated four full seasons of play or more at the professional level (goaltenders are exempt from this rule and can stay in the AHL indefinitely without being subject to this cap). [4] The AHL allows for practice squad contracts. [5]

The annual playoff champion is awarded the Calder Cup, named for Frank Calder, the first President (1917–1943) of the NHL. The most recent champions are the Charlotte Checkers in 2019 as the Calder Cup playoffs were not held in 2020 or 2021.

History

Predecessor leagues

The AHL traces its origins directly to two predecessor professional leagues: the Canadian-American Hockey League (the "Can-Am" League), founded in 1926, and the first International Hockey League, established in 1929. Although the Can-Am League never operated with more than six teams, the departure of the Boston Bruin Cubs after the 1935–36 season reduced it down to just four member clubs – the Springfield Indians, Philadelphia Ramblers, Providence Reds, and New Haven Eagles – for the first time in its history. At the same time, the then-rival IHL lost half of its eight members after the 1935–36 season, also leaving it with just four member teams: the Buffalo Bisons, Syracuse Stars, Pittsburgh Hornets, and Cleveland Falcons.

1936–1938

With both leagues down to the bare minimum number of teams to be viable, the governors of both leagues recognized the need for action to assure their member clubs' long-term survival. Their solution was to play an interlocking schedule. While the Can-Am was based in the Northeast and the IHL in the Great Lakes, their footprints were close enough for this to be a viable option. The two leagues' eight surviving clubs began joint play in November 1936 as a new two-division "circuit of mutual convenience" known as the International-American Hockey League. The four Can-Am teams became the I-AHL East Division, with the IHL quartet playing as the West Division. The IHL also contributed its former championship trophy, the F. G. "Teddy" Oke Trophy, which would go to the regular-season winners of the merged league's West Division until 1952. The Oke Trophy is now awarded to the regular-season winners of the AHL's Northeast Division.

A little more than a month into that first season, the balance and symmetry of the new combined circuit suffered a setback when its membership unexpectedly fell to seven teams. The West's Buffalo Bisons were forced to cease operations on December 6, 1936, after playing just 11 games, because of what proved to be insurmountable financial problems and lack of access to a suitable arena; the Bisons' original arena, Peace Bridge Arena, had collapsed the previous season (a new Buffalo Bisons team would return to the league in 1940 after a new arena was constructed for them). The makeshift new I-AHL played out the rest of its first season (as well as all of the next) with just seven teams.

At the end of the 1936–37 season, a modified three-round playoff format was devised and a new championship trophy, the Calder Cup, was established. The Syracuse Stars defeated the Philadelphia Ramblers in the final, three-games-to-one, to win the first-ever Calder Cup championship. The Calder Cup continues on today as the AHL's playoff championship trophy.

Formal consolidation of the I-AHL

"Hershey in Hockey League" (from The Philadelphia Record, 6-29-1938).jpg

After two seasons of interlocking play, the governors of the two leagues' seven active teams met in New York City on June 28, 1938, and agreed that it was time to formally consolidate. Maurice Podoloff of New Haven, the former head of the Can-Am League, was elected the I-AHL's first president. The former IHL president, John Chick of Windsor, Ontario, became vice-president in charge of officials.

The new I-AHL also added an eighth franchise at the 1938 meeting to fill the void in its membership left by the loss of Buffalo two years earlier with the admission of the then two-time defending Eastern Amateur Hockey League (EAHL) champion Hershey Bears. [6] The Bears remain the only one of these eight original I-AHL/AHL franchises to have been represented in the league without interruption since the 1938–39 season. The newly merged circuit also increased its regular-season schedule for each team by six games from 48 to 54.

Contraction, resurrection, and expansion

After the 1939–40 season the I-AHL renamed itself the American Hockey League. It generally enjoyed both consistent success on the ice and relative financial stability over its first three decades of operation. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, however, the cost of doing business in professional ice hockey began to rise sharply with NHL expansion and relocation (the NHL placed teams in Pittsburgh and Buffalo, forcing two long-time AHL clubs, the Pittsburgh Hornets and Buffalo Bisons, to fold) and especially the 1972 formation of the World Hockey Association (WHA), which forced the relocation and subsequent folding of the Cleveland Barons, Baltimore Clippers, and Quebec Aces. The number of major-league teams competing for players rose from six to thirty in just seven years. Player salaries at all levels shot up dramatically with the increased demand and competition for their services.

This did not seem to affect the AHL at first, as it expanded to 12 teams by 1970. However, to help compensate for the rise in player salaries, many NHL clubs cut back on the number of players they kept under contract for development, and players under AHL contracts could now also demand much higher paychecks to remain with their clubs. As a result, half of the AHL's teams folded from 1974 to 1977. The league bottomed out in the summer of 1977, with news that the Rhode Island (formerly Providence) Reds – the last remaining uninterrupted franchise from the 1936–37 season, and the oldest continuously operating minor league franchise in North America – had decided to cease operations after 51 years in Rhode Island.

The AHL appeared in serious danger of folding altogether if this downward trend was not reversed. However, two events in the fall of 1977 helped reverse the trend. The first of these was the decision of the NHL's Philadelphia Flyers to return to the league as a team owner, and the second was the unexpected collapse of the North American Hockey League just weeks before the start of the 1977–78 season.

American Hockey League 50th anniversary logo AHL 50 Jahre.png
American Hockey League 50th anniversary logo

The Flyers' new AHL franchise became the immediately successful Maine Mariners, which brought the new AHL city of Portland, Maine both the regular-season and Calder Cup playoff titles in each of that club's first two seasons of operation. The folding of the NAHL, meanwhile, suddenly left two of its stronger teams, the Philadelphia Firebirds and Binghamton, New York-based Broome Dusters, without a league to play in. The owners of the Dusters solved their problem by buying the Reds franchise and moving it to Binghamton as the Binghamton Dusters, while the Firebirds crossed over to the AHL from the NAHL. The Dusters and Firebirds, together with the Hampton Gulls (who had joined the league from the Southern Hockey League), boosted the AHL to nine member clubs as the 1977–78 season opened. Hampton folded on February 10, 1978, but was replaced the next year by the New Brunswick Hawks. With franchise stability improving after the demise of the WHA in 1979, the league continued to grow steadily over the years, reaching 20 clubs by the 2000–01 season.

Absorption of the IHL

In 2001–02, the AHL's membership jumped dramatically to 27 teams, mostly by the absorption of six teams—Milwaukee, Chicago, Houston, Utah, Manitoba, and Grand Rapids—from the International Hockey League. The IHL had established itself as the second top-level minor league circuit in North America, but folded in 2001 due to financial problems. One oddity caused by the AHL's 2001 expansion was that the league had two teams with the same nickname: the Milwaukee Admirals and the Norfolk Admirals. The latter team transferred to the league from the mid-level ECHL in 2000. This situation lasted until the end of the 2014–15 season when the Norfolk team moved to San Diego and was replaced by another ECHL team with the same name.

The Utah Grizzlies suspended operations after the 2004–05 season (the franchise was sold in 2006 and returned to the ice in Cleveland in 2007 as the Lake Erie Monsters, now known as the Cleveland Monsters). The Chicago Wolves (2002, 2008), Houston Aeros (2003), Milwaukee Admirals (2004), and Grand Rapids Griffins (2013, 2017) have all won Calder Cup titles since joining the AHL from the IHL. Chicago and Milwaukee have also made multiple trips to the Calder Cup Finals, and Houston made their second Finals appearance in 2011.

The Manitoba Moose moved to St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador in 2011 and were renamed the St. John's IceCaps after the NHL's Atlanta Thrashers moved to Winnipeg as the second incarnation of the Winnipeg Jets. In 2013, Houston moved to Des Moines, Iowa to become the Iowa Wild. This left Chicago, Grand Rapids and Milwaukee as the only ex-IHL teams still in their original cities until the 2015 relocations when the IceCaps moved back to Winnipeg as the Manitoba Moose.

Relocations and western shift

American Hockey League 2014-15 map zoomed.svg
Team locations and divisional alignment in the 2014–15 season prior to the franchise relocations
American Hockey League 2015-16 map zoomed.svg
Team locations and divisions after the 2015–16 relocation and realignment

Beginning with the 2015–16 season, twelve franchises have since relocated due to NHL parent clubs' influence on their development teams and players. Of the twelve relocated franchises, nine were relocated because they were directly owned by NHL teams and the NHL parent club wished to make call-ups from the AHL more practical by having closer affiliates.

In January 2015, the AHL announced the relocation of five existing AHL franchises—Adirondack, Manchester, Norfolk, Oklahoma City, and Worcester—to California as the basis for a new "Pacific Division" becoming Stockton, Ontario, San Diego, Bakersfield, and San Jose respectively. [7] The relocated teams were all affiliated and owned or purchased by teams in the NHL's Pacific Division. The franchise movements continued with two more relocations involving Canadian teams [8] with the St. John's IceCaps going back to Winnipeg as the Manitoba Moose and the Hamilton Bulldogs becoming another iteration of the IceCaps to fulfill the arena contract in St. John's.

In the following seasons, more NHL organizations influenced league membership. In 2016, the Springfield Falcons franchise was purchased by the Arizona Coyotes and relocated to become the Tucson Roadrunners and join the one-year-old Pacific Division. The Falcons were subsequently replaced by the Springfield Thunderbirds, the relocated Portland Pirates franchise under a new ownership group. The Montreal Canadiens-owned IceCaps relocated to the Montreal suburb of Laval, Quebec, and became the Laval Rocket in 2017. [9] The Binghamton Senators were also purchased by the Ottawa Senators and were relocated to Belleville, Ontario, to become the Belleville Senators [10] while the New Jersey Devils' owned Albany Devils were relocated to become the Binghamton Devils. [11]

For the 2018–19 season, a 31st team joined the league with the Colorado Eagles as the NHL's Colorado Avalanche affiliate. [12] With the NHL planning to expand to 32 teams in 2021 with the Seattle Kraken, the Seattle ownership group was approved for a 2021 AHL expansion team based in Palm Springs, California, following the construction of a new arena. [13] [14] The original plans for the new arena was eventually cancelled and the team postponed their launch by year while new arena plans were developed. [15]

In February 2020, the San Antonio Rampage franchise was bought and relocated by the NHL's Vegas Golden Knights for the 2020–21 season [16] as the Henderson Silver Knights and was moved to the Pacific Division. For the 2021–22 season, the Vancouver Canucks relocated their franchise from Utica to Abbotsford while the Utica Comets agreed to relocate and operate the franchise that was operating as the Binghamton Devils. [17]

Teams

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Locations of teams in the AHL as of the 2020–21 season. Dot colors correspond to the divisional alignment.

Teams as of the 2021–22 season

On June 7, 2021, the alignment for the 2021–22 season was announced. [18]

DivisionTeamCityArenaFoundedJoinedHead coachNHL affiliate
Eastern Conference
Atlantic Bridgeport Islanders Bridgeport, Connecticut Webster Bank Arena 2001 Brent Thompson New York Islanders
Charlotte Checkers Charlotte, North Carolina Bojangles' Coliseum 1990 [c 1] Geordie Kinnear Florida Panthers
Hartford Wolf Pack Hartford, Connecticut XL Center 1926 [c 1] 1936 Kris Knoblauch New York Rangers
Hershey Bears Hershey, Pennsylvania Giant Center 1938 Spencer Carbery Washington Capitals
Lehigh Valley Phantoms Allentown, Pennsylvania PPL Center 1996 [c 1] Ian Laperriere Philadelphia Flyers
Springfield Thunderbirds Springfield, Massachusetts MassMutual Center 1975 [c 1] 1981 Drew Bannister St. Louis Blues
Providence Bruins Providence, Rhode Island Dunkin' Donuts Center 1987 [c 1] Jay Leach Boston Bruins
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Wilkes-Barre Township, Pennsylvania Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza 1981 [c 1] J. D. Forrest Pittsburgh Penguins
North Belleville Senators Belleville, Ontario CAA Arena 1972 [c 1] Troy Mann Ottawa Senators
Cleveland Monsters Cleveland, Ohio Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse 1994 [c 1] 2001 Mike Eaves Columbus Blue Jackets
Laval Rocket Laval, Quebec Place Bell 1969 [c 1] Joël Bouchard Montreal Canadiens
Rochester Americans Rochester, New York Blue Cross Arena 1956 Seth Appert Buffalo Sabres
Syracuse Crunch Syracuse, New York Upstate Medical University Arena at Onondaga County War Memorial 1992 [c 1] Benoit Groulx Tampa Bay Lightning
Toronto Marlies Toronto, Ontario Coca-Cola Coliseum 1978 [c 1] Greg Moore Toronto Maple Leafs
Utica Comets Utica, New York Adirondack Bank Center 1998 [c 1] New Jersey Devils
Western Conference
Central Chicago Wolves Rosemont, Illinois Allstate Arena 19942001Ryan Warsofsky Carolina Hurricanes
Grand Rapids Griffins Grand Rapids, Michigan Van Andel Arena 19962001 Ben Simon Detroit Red Wings
Iowa Wild Des Moines, Iowa Wells Fargo Arena 1994 [c 1] 2001 Tim Army Minnesota Wild
Manitoba Moose Winnipeg, Manitoba Bell MTS Place 1994 [c 1] 2001 Pascal Vincent Winnipeg Jets
Milwaukee Admirals Milwaukee, Wisconsin UW–Milwaukee Panther Arena 19702001Karl Taylor Nashville Predators
Rockford IceHogs Rockford, Illinois BMO Harris Bank Center 1995 [c 1] Derek King Chicago Blackhawks
Texas Stars Cedar Park, Texas H-E-B Center at Cedar Park 1999 [c 1] Neil Graham Dallas Stars
Pacific Abbotsford Abbotsford, British Columbia Abbotsford Centre 1932 [c 1] 1936 Vancouver Canucks
Bakersfield Condors Bakersfield, California Mechanics Bank Arena 1984 [c 1] Jay Woodcroft Edmonton Oilers
Colorado Eagles [19] Loveland, Colorado Budweiser Events Center 20032018 Greg Cronin Colorado Avalanche
Henderson Silver Knights Paradise, Nevada Orleans Arena [c 2] 1971 [c 1] Emanuel Viveiros Vegas Golden Knights
Ontario Reign Ontario, California Toyota Arena 2001 [c 1] John Wroblewski Los Angeles Kings
San Diego Gulls San Diego, California Pechanga Arena 2000 [c 1] Kevin Dineen Anaheim Ducks
San Jose Barracuda San Jose, California SAP Center 1996 [c 1] Roy Sommer San Jose Sharks
Stockton Heat Stockton, California Stockton Arena 1977 [c 1] Vacant Calgary Flames
Tucson Roadrunners Tucson, Arizona Tucson Convention Center 1994 [c 1] Steve Potvin Arizona Coyotes

Future teams

TeamCityArenaFoundedJoinedHead coachNHL affiliate
Palm Springs AHL team Palm Springs, California Coachella Valley Arena 2022 Seattle Kraken
Notes
  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 Franchise has moved in the past; see AHL membership timeline below or the team's main article for further information.
  2. The Silver Knights will play in Henderson, Nevada, when their new arena in Henderson is completed in 2022.

Timeline

Palm Springs AHL teamColorado EaglesCleveland MonstersUtah Grizzlies (1995–2005)Manitoba MooseSt. John's IceCapsManitoba MooseMilwaukee AdmiralsOntario ReignManchester Monarchs (AHL)Iowa WildHouston Aeros (1994–2013)Grand Rapids GriffinsChicago WolvesBridgeport IslandersSan Diego GullsNorfolk Admirals (AHL)Texas StarsIowa StarsLouisville PanthersUtica CometsBinghamton DevilsAlbany DevilsLowell DevilsSan Jose BarracudaWorcester SharksCleveland Barons (2001–06)Kentucky ThoroughbladesLehigh Valley PhantomsAdirondack PhantomsPhiladelphia PhantomsBeast of New HavenCarolina MonarchsRockford IceHogsCincinnati Mighty DucksBaltimore BanditsTucson RoadrunnersSpringfield FalconsSyracuse CrunchHamilton CanucksCharlotte CheckersAlbany River RatsCapital District IslandersProvidence BruinsMaine MarinersBakersfield CondorsOklahoma City BaronsEdmonton Road RunnersToronto RoadrunnersHamilton Bulldogs (AHL)Cape Breton OilersNova Scotia OilersMoncton Golden FlamesSherbrooke JetsWilkes-Barre/Scranton PenguinsCornwall AcesHalifax CitadelsFredericton ExpressSpringfield ThunderbirdsPortland PiratesBaltimore SkipjacksErie BladesToronto MarliesSt. John's Maple LeafsNewmarket SaintsSt. Catharines SaintsNew Brunswick HawksSyracuse FirebirdsPhiladelphia Firebirds (ice hockey)Stockton HeatAdirondack FlamesAbbotsford HeatQuad City FlamesOmaha Ak-Sar-Ben KnightsSaint John FlamesUtica DevilsMaine MarinersHampton GullsBelleville SenatorsBinghamton SenatorsPrince Edward Island SenatorsNew Haven NighthawksHenderson Silver KnightsSan Antonio RampageAdirondack Red WingsVirginia WingsCincinnati SwordsMoncton HawksBoston Braves (AHL)Laval RocketSt. John's IceCapsHamilton Bulldogs (AHL)Quebec CitadellesFredericton CanadiensSherbrooke CanadiensNova Scotia VoyageursMontreal VoyageursBaltimore ClippersRichmond RobinsQuebec AcesRochester AmericansPhiladelphia RocketsSt. Louis FlyersCincinnati MohawksWashington LionsIndianapolis CapitalsHershey BearsBuffalo Bisons (AHL)Syracuse StarsAbbotsford AHL teamUtica CometsPeoria Rivermen (AHL)Worcester IceCatsSpringfield IndiansSyracuse WarriorsSpringfield IndiansHartford Wolf PackBinghamton RangersProvidence RedsPittsburgh HornetsPhiladelphia RamblersNew Haven EaglesSyracuse EaglesJacksonville BaronsCleveland Barons (1937-73)Buffalo Bisons (IHL)American Hockey League

AHL teams of the past and present

Bold teams means they are still active

All-Star Game

The American Hockey League first held an All-Star Game in the 1941–42 season. The event was not played again until the 1954–55 season, and was then held annually until the 1959–60 season. In the 1994–95 season, the AHL revived the events again, and has been played every season since (except for the 2020–21 season). The skills competition was first introduced for the 1995–96 season. From 1996 to 2010, the game took place between a team of players born outside of Canada and a team of players born within Canada. The All-Star Game was replaced by an all-star challenge between the league's divisions from the 2015–16 season onward. The challenge consists of six round-robin games between the league's divisions; the top two divisions in the challenge's round-robin phase advance to a six-minute championship game. The winning division of the championship game is declared the winner of the all-star challenge.

DateArenaCityWinnerScoreRunner-up
February 3, 1942 Cleveland Arena Cleveland, Ohio East All-Stars5–4West All-Stars
October 27, 1954 Hershey Sports Arena Hershey, Pennsylvania AHL All-Stars7–3Cleveland Barons
January 10, 1956 Duquesne Gardens Pittsburgh, PennsylvaniaAHL All-Stars4–4Pittsburgh Hornets
October 23, 1956 Rhode Island Auditorium Providence, Rhode Island Providence Reds4–0AHL All-Stars
October 6, 1957 Rochester Community War Memorial Rochester, New York AHL All-Stars5–2Cleveland Barons
January 15, 1959Hershey Sports ArenaHershey, PennsylvaniaHershey Bears5–2AHL All-Stars
December 10, 1959 Eastern States Coliseum West Springfield, Massachusetts Springfield Indians8–3AHL All-Stars
January 17, 1995 Providence Civic Center Providence, Rhode IslandCanada6–4USA
January 16, 1996 Hersheypark Arena Hershey, PennsylvaniaUSA6–5Canada
January 16, 1997 Harbour Station Saint John, New Brunswick World3–2 (SO)Canada
February 11, 1998 Onondaga War Memorial Arena Syracuse, New York Canada11–10PlanetUSA
January 25, 1999 First Union Center Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaPlanetUSA5–4 (SO)Canada
January 17, 2000 Blue Cross Arena Rochester, New YorkCanada8–3PlanetUSA
January 15, 2001 First Union Arena at Casey Plaza Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania Canada11–10PlanetUSA
February 14, 2002 Mile One Stadium St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador Canada13–11PlanetUSA
February 3, 2003 Cumberland County Civic Center Portland, Maine Canada10–7PlanetUSA
February 9, 2004 Van Andel Arena Grand Rapids, Michigan Canada9–5PlanetUSA
February 14, 2005 Verizon Wireless Arena Manchester, New Hampshire PlanetUSA5–4Canada
February 1, 2006 MTS Centre Winnipeg, MantitobaCanada9–4PlanetUSA
January 29, 2007 Ricoh Coliseum Toronto, OntarioPlanetUSA7–6Canada
January 28, 2008 Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena Binghamton, New York Canada9–8 (SO)PlanetUSA
January 26, 2009 DCU Center Worcester, Massachusetts PlanetUSA14–11Canada
January 19, 2010Cumberland County Civic CenterPortland, MaineCanada10–9 (SO)PlanetUSA
January 31, 2011 Giant Center Hershey, PennsylvaniaEast All-Stars11–8West All-Stars
January 30, 2012 Boardwalk Hall Atlantic City, New Jersey West All-Stars8–7 (SO)East All-Stars
January 28, 2013 Dunkin' Donuts Center Providence, Rhode IslandWest All-Stars7–6East All-Stars
February 12, 2014Mile One CentreSt. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador AHL All-Stars 7–2 Färjestad BK
January 26, 2015 Utica Memorial Auditorium Utica, New YorkWest All-Stars14–12East All-Stars
February 1, 2016Onondaga War Memorial ArenaSyracuse, New YorkRound robin results:
Pacific 0–1 North
Central 2–1 Atlantic (SO)
Central 4–2 North
Pacific 1–2 Atlantic
Central 4–6 Pacific
Atlantic 4–1 North
Central Division4–0Atlantic Division
January 30, 2017 PPL Center Allentown, Pennsylvania Round robin results:
Central 1–2 Atlantic
Pacific 3–6 North
Central 2–1 North (SO)
Pacific 1–6 Atlantic
Pacific 3–5 Central
North 0–2 Atlantic
Central Division1–0 (SO)Atlantic Division
January 29, 2018 [20] Utica Memorial Auditorium Utica, New York Round robin results:
Pacific 5–3 North
Central 2–5 Atlantic
Central 2–4 North
Pacific 4–3 Atlantic
Central 3–4 Pacific
Atlantic 3–4 North
North Division1–0Pacific Division
January 28, 2019 [21] MassMutual Center Springfield, Massachusetts Round robin results:
Central 1–3 Atlantic
Pacific 4–2 North
Central 2–4 North
Pacific 2–5 Atlantic
Central 5–3 Pacific
North 4–1 Atlantic
North Division1–0 (SO)Atlantic Division
January 27, 2020 [22] Toyota Arena Ontario, California Round robin results:
North 5–6 Pacific (SO)
Atlantic 1–3 Central
North 5–6 Central
Atlantic 3–2 Pacific
Atlantic 5–2 North
Central 4–5 Pacific (SO)
Atlantic Division3–1Central Division
TBD 2022 [23] Place Bell Laval, Quebec Postponed from January 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Outdoor games

An AHL record crowd of 45,653 watched the Adirondack Phantoms defeat the Hershey Bears, 4-3 in OT, at the 2012 AHL Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 2012 AHL Winter Classic CBP Philadelphia.jpg
An AHL record crowd of 45,653 watched the Adirondack Phantoms defeat the Hershey Bears, 4–3 in OT, at the 2012 AHL Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Since the 2009–10 season, at least one team in the AHL has hosted an outdoor ice hockey game each year. The Syracuse Crunch was the first organization to put on an outdoor game in the AHL on February 20, 2010, building a rink at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, New York, and packing a record 21,508 fans in for the Mirabito Outdoor Classic against the Binghamton Senators. The contest, which was also televised to an international audience on NHL Network, was won by the Crunch, 2–1.

The Connecticut Whale hosted the Whale Bowl—the AHL's second outdoor game—on February 19, 2011, as part of a 10-day Whalers Hockey Fest at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn. Attendance for Connecticut's game against the Providence Bruins was announced at 21,673, the largest in AHL history to that point. Providence won, 5–4, in a shootout.

On January 6, 2012, the largest crowd in AHL history saw the Adirondack Phantoms defeat the Hershey Bears, 4–3, in overtime before 45,653 fans at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as the final event of the week-long activities associated with the 2012 NHL Winter Classic, which also included a game between the Philadelphia Flyers and the New York Rangers on Jan 2 and an alumni game between retired players (including eight honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame) of those two clubs on December 31, 2011. The contest was the third outdoor game in AHL history and it more than doubled the league's previous single-game attendance mark.

On January 21, 2012, the Steeltown Showdown between Ontario rivals the Toronto Marlies and Hamilton Bulldogs was held at Ivor Wynne Stadium in Hamilton, Ont., with the Marlies winning 7–2 in front of 20,565 fans, the largest crowd ever for an AHL game in Canada. The AHL game was preceded the previous night by a game between Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens alumni.

Two outdoor games were announced for the 2012–13 AHL season, but a meeting between the Grand Rapids Griffins and Toronto Marlies at Comerica Park in Detroit as part of the festivities surrounding the NHL Winter Classic was not held because of the cancellation of the NHL Winter Classic. On January 20, 2013, the Hershey Bears and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins met outdoors at Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey, Pa. The Penguins earned a 2–1 overtime victory in front of 17,311 fans.

The Rochester Americans hosted an outdoor game in 2013–14, the Frozen Frontier, which was held at Frontier Field in Rochester on December 13, 2013. The Americans took a 5–4 decision in a shootout against the Lake Erie Monsters before a standing-room crowd of 11,015 fans. A year after their originally scheduled date, the Griffins and Marlies played at Comerica Park on December 30, 2013, and Toronto prevailed in a shootout, 4–3, becoming the first AHL team ever with two outdoor wins. Attendance in Detroit was 20,337.

As part of the recent addition of the Pacific Division, the AHL played its first outdoor hockey game in California during the 2015–16 season called the Golden State Hockey Rush. On December 18, 2015, the Stockton Heat hosted the Bakersfield Condors at Raley Field in West Sacramento, California. Stockton defeated Bakersfield 3–2 in front of 9,357 fans. [24]

For the second consecutive season, the AHL played an outdoor game in California. The Bakersfield Condors were named as hosts for their second outdoor game against the Ontario Reign to be held on January 7, 2017, at Bakersfield College's Memorial Stadium and was called the Condorstown Outdoor Classic. [25] Despite sometimes heavy rain during the first period, the game went on as scheduled and the Condors defeated the Reign 3–2 in overtime.

Although technically not an outdoor game, the Syracuse Crunch defeated the Utica Comets 2–1 on November 22, 2014 at the Carrier Dome, normally a college football stadium.

AHL Hall of Fame

The formation of an American Hockey League Hall of Fame was announced by the league on December 15, 2005, created to recognize, honor and celebrate individuals for their outstanding achievements and contributions specifically in the AHL. [26]

Trophies and awards

The following is a list of awards of the American Hockey League. The season the award was first handed out is listed in parentheses.

Individual awards

Team awards

Trophy predates American Hockey League, established 1926–27 in the Canadian Professional Hockey League.

Other awards

Sources:

See also

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The Syracuse Crunch are a professional ice hockey team in the American Hockey League (AHL). They play in Syracuse, New York, at the Upstate Medical University Arena at Onondaga County War Memorial. They are the primary development affiliate of the National Hockey League's Tampa Bay Lightning.

Springfield Indians

The Springfield Indians were a minor professional ice hockey franchise, originally based in West Springfield, Massachusetts and later Springfield, Massachusetts. The Indians were founding members of the American Hockey League. They were in existence for a total of 60 seasons from 1926 to 1994, with three interruptions. The Indians had two brief hiatuses from 1933 to 1935, and from 1942 to 1946. The team was known as the Syracuse Warriors from 1951 to 1954; in addition, the team was named the Springfield Kings from 1967 to 1975. The Indians won seven Calder Cup championships, one while known as the Kings in 1971.

The Canadian–American Hockey League, popularly known as the Can-Am League, was a professional ice hockey league that operated from 1926 to 1936. It was a direct ancestor of the American Hockey League.

Maine Mariners

The Maine Mariners were an ice hockey team in the American Hockey League. They played in Portland, Maine, at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

Cleveland Barons (1937–1973)

The Cleveland Barons were a minor league professional ice hockey team in the American Hockey League. They played in Cleveland, Ohio at the Cleveland Arena. The most successful team in AHL history, the original incarnation of the Barons played in the AHL from 1937 to 1973. In that time, they won ten division titles and nine Calder Cups, which, although the team had been defunct for over three decades, remained a record until 2009, when the Hershey Bears won their 10th Calder Cup. In 1973, they relocated to Jacksonville, Florida, where they were known as the Jacksonville Barons; they lasted only through the 1973–1974 season before folding.

Syracuse Stars

The Syracuse Stars were a minor professional ice hockey team from Syracuse, New York, for ten seasons from 1930–31 to 1939–40. The Stars name had previously been used by sports teams, including several Syracuse Stars baseball teams from the 19th century. The team played at the New York State Fair Coliseum on the New York State Fairgrounds. The Stars were affiliated with the Toronto Maple Leafs and the New York Americans.

The F.G. "Teddy" Oke Trophy is awarded to the regular season champion of the American Hockey League's North Division. It is the oldest trophy awarded by the AHL, but it passed through two leagues previously. It is one of the oldest trophies in professional hockey. It is named after Teddy Oke, one of the founders of the Canadian Professional Hockey League (CPHL) in 1926, who presented it to the inaugural CPHL champion – the London Panthers.

St. Johns IceCaps

The St. John's IceCaps were a professional ice hockey team based in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. They were members of the North Division of the Eastern Conference of the American Hockey League (AHL). The team was originally affiliated with the second incarnation of the Winnipeg Jets from 2011 to 2015. However, beginning in the 2015–16 AHL season, they became the top affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens of the National Hockey League (NHL) after the Jets relocated their franchise back to Manitoba and the Canadiens moved the former Hamilton Bulldogs franchise to St. John's. The IceCaps were the second AHL team to be in St. John's, after the Toronto Maple Leafs' affiliate, the St. John's Maple Leafs from 1991 to 2005.

Iowa Wild

The Iowa Wild are an ice hockey team in the American Hockey League, that began play for the 2013–14 season. The team plays at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa, as the AHL affiliate of the NHL's Minnesota Wild.

Utica Comets

The Utica Comets are a professional ice hockey team based in Utica, New York, with home games at the Adirondack Bank Center. They are members of the North Division in the Eastern Conference of the American Hockey League (AHL) and affiliated with the National Hockey League's (NHL) New Jersey Devils. When the team began play in the 2013–14 season, the team was the AHL affiliate of the NHL's Vancouver Canucks.

The 2015–16 AHL season was the 80th season of the American Hockey League. The regular season began on October 9, 2015, and ended on April 17, 2016. The 2016 Calder Cup playoffs follow the conclusion of the regular season. An attendance record was set with a league average of 5,982 spectators per game, surpassing the record set in 2004–05.

The 2016–17 AHL season was the 81st season of the American Hockey League. The regular season began on October 14, 2016, and ended on April 15, 2017. The 2017 Calder Cup playoffs began on April 20, 2017.

The 2017–18 AHL season was the 82nd season of the American Hockey League. The regular season ran from October 6, 2017, to April 15, 2018. The 2018 Calder Cup playoffs followed the conclusion of the regular season. The Toronto Marlies won their first Calder Cup in seven games over the Texas Stars.

The 2020–21 AHL season was the 85th season of the American Hockey League. Due to the ongoing restrictions in the COVID-19 pandemic, the start of the regular season was pushed back to February 5, 2021, and the league championship Calder Cup was not awarded for the second consecutive season. The Hershey Bears won the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy for the best regular-season record, their eighth regular-season championship. This was the first season under Scott Howson as the league's president after David Andrews announced his retirement after 26 years in the position.

The 2021–22 AHL season is the 86th season of the American Hockey League. The regular season is scheduled to begin on October 15, 2021, and end on April 24, 2022. The regular season is typically followed by the Calder Cup playoffs, which has not been held since 2019 due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

References

  1. "Calder Cup Record Book" Archived January 25, 2010, at the Wayback Machine , theahl.com
  2. Scott, Jon C. (2006). Hockey Night in Dixie: Minor Pro Hockey in the American South . Heritage House Publishing Company Ltd. p. xvii. ISBN   1-894974-21-2.
  3. "Howson elected AHL President and CEO". theahl.com. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  4. "FAQ". Theahl.com. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  5. Filipowski, Nick (October 9, 2017). "Gionta to skate with Amerks, prepare for international competition". WIVB-TV. Retrieved October 9, 2017.
  6. "Hershey In Hockey League: Admitted to Circuit as American-International Loops Unite" The Philadelphia Record, June 29, 1938
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  13. "NHL Seattle chooses Palm Springs as site for new AHL farm team". The Seattle Times . June 26, 2019.
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