American Hockey League

Last updated

American Hockey League
Current season, competition or edition:
Hockey current event.svg 2019–20 AHL season
American Hockey League logo
Sport Ice hockey
Founded1936 (IHL/C-AHL Interlocking schedules); 1938 (IHL/C-AHL formally merged)
PresidentDavid Andrews
No. of teams31
CountriesUnited States (27 teams)
Canada (4 teams)
Most recent
Charlotte Checkers (1st title)
Most titles Hershey Bears (11) [1]
TV partner(s)Canada (English): Sportsnet/Sportsnet One
Canada (French): TVA Sports
Europe: Premier Sports
United States (English): NHL Network
United States (Spanish): ESPN Deportes
United States (English): AHL.TV (Internet app)
Official website
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-seven AHL teams are located in the United States and the remaining four are in Canada. The league offices are located in Springfield, Massachusetts, and its current president is David Andrews.

Professional person who is paid to undertake a specialized set of tasks and to complete them for a fee

A professional is a member of a profession or any person who earns their living from a specified professional activity. The term also describes the standards of education and training that prepare members of the profession with the particular knowledge and skills necessary to perform their specific role within that profession. In addition, most professionals are subject to strict codes of conduct, enshrining rigorous ethical and moral obligations. Professional standards of practice and ethics for a particular field are typically agreed upon and maintained through widely recognized professional associations, such as the IEEE. Some definitions of "professional" limit this term to those professions that serve some important aspect of public interest and the general good of society.

Ice hockey team sport played on ice using sticks, skates, and a puck

Ice hockey is a contact team sport played on ice, usually in a rink, in which two teams of skaters use their sticks to shoot a vulcanized rubber puck into their opponent's net to score points. The sport is known to be fast-paced and physical, with teams usually consisting of six players each: one goaltender, and five players who skate up and down the ice trying to take the puck and score a goal against the opposing team.

National Hockey League North American professional ice hockey league

The National Hockey League is a professional ice hockey league in North America, currently comprising 31 teams: 24 in the United States and 7 in Canada. The NHL is considered to be the premier professional ice hockey league in the world, and one of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. The Stanley Cup, the oldest professional sports trophy in North America, is awarded annually to the league playoff champion at the end of each season.


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). [3] The AHL allows for practice squad contracts. [4]

Junior hockey is ice hockey competition generally for players between 16 and 21 years of age. Junior hockey leagues in the United States and Canada are considered amateur and operate within regions of each country.

In sports, the practice squad, also called the taxi squad or practice roster, is a group of players signed by a team but not part of their main roster. Frequently used in American and Canadian football, they serve as extra players during the team's practices, often as part of the scout team by emulating an upcoming opponent's play style. Because the players on the practice squad are familiar with the team's plays and formations, the practice squad serves as a way to develop inexperienced players for promotion to the main roster. In addition, it provides replacement players for the main roster when players are needed as the result of injuries or other roster moves, such as bereavement leave.

The annual playoff champion is awarded the Calder Cup, named for Frank Calder, the first President (1917–1943) of the NHL. The reigning champions are the Charlotte Checkers.

Calder Cup trophy

The Calder Cup is the trophy awarded annually to the champions of the American Hockey League. It is the oldest continuously awarded professional ice hockey playoff trophy, as it has been annually presented since the 1936–37 season. The Calder Cup was first presented in 1937 to the Syracuse Stars.

Frank Calder Canadian ice hockey administrator

Frank Sellick Calder was a British-born Canadian ice hockey executive, journalist, and athlete. He is most notable for serving as the first president of the National Hockey League (NHL) from 1917 until his death in 1943. He was the last president of the NHL's predecessor league, the National Hockey Association (NHA), and was instrumental in the transition from the NHA to the NHL, a transition made to expel a franchise owner. He presided over the expansion of the NHL from Canada into the United States, while at the same time fending off rivals to the NHL's status as the premier North American ice hockey league.

Charlotte Checkers AHL hockey affiliate of the NHLs Carolina Hurricanes

The Charlotte Checkers are a minor-league professional ice hockey team based in Charlotte, North Carolina. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the American Hockey League (AHL), and are the top minor-league affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes of the National Hockey League (NHL). The Checkers play their home games at Bojangles' Coliseum. The current organization is the third team by this name; it succeeded a Checkers franchise which played in the ECHL from 1993 until the end of the 2009–10 ECHL season. The original Checkers team played in the city from 1956 to 1977, originally in the Eastern Hockey League and then in the Southern Hockey League. The franchise is one of six teams to replace and share a name with a predecessor franchise from a lower-tier league; the others are the Bakersfield Condors, Colorado Eagles, Ontario Reign, Rockford IceHogs, and San Diego Gulls.


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.

The Boston Tigers were a professional ice hockey team based in Boston, Massachusetts from 1926 until 1936, playing in the Canadian-American Hockey League (CAHL).

Springfield Indians ice hockey team

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.

Philadelphia Ramblers

The Philadelphia Ramblers were a minor professional ice hockey team based in the Philadelphia Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Ramblers played for six seasons during the infancy of the American Hockey League from 1935 to 1941.


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.

Northeastern United States region of the United States

The Northeastern United States, also referred to as simply the Northeast, is a geographical region of the United States bordered to the north by Canada, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by the Southern United States, and to the west by the Midwestern United States. The Northeast is one of the four regions defined by the United States Census Bureau for the collection and analysis of statistics.

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, the owner of the Kitchener team in the Canadian Professional Hockey League (CPHL) and former player.

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.

Peace Bridge Arena was the main sports arena located in Fort Erie, Ontario. Built in 1928, it held 5,000 people. It was located near the Peace Bridge connecting Fort Erie with Buffalo, New York. Both the Chicago Black Hawks and Pittsburgh Pirates made the arena a temporary home for the first few games during the 1928–29 NHL season.

Buffalo Bisons (AHL) franchise

The Buffalo Bisons were an American Hockey League ice hockey franchise that played from 1940 to 1970 in Buffalo, New York. They replaced the original Buffalo Bisons hockey team, which left the area in 1936 after its arena collapsed. They were the second professional hockey team to play their games in the Buffalo city proper, after the short-lived Buffalo Majors of the early 1930s; the previous Bisons team had played across the border at an arena in Fort Erie, Ontario.

Buffalo Memorial Auditorium Arena in New York, United States

Buffalo Memorial Auditorium was an indoor arena in downtown Buffalo, New York. Opened on October 14, 1940, it hosted the AHL's Buffalo Bisons, the NHL's Buffalo Sabres, the NBA's Buffalo Braves, the MSL's Buffalo Stallions, the MILL's Buffalo Bandits, the second NPSL's Buffalo Blizzard and the RHI's Buffalo Stampede. It also hosted a number of NCAA basketball games, as well as entertainment events such as concerts, the Ringling Brothers circus and Disney on Ice. The Aud was renovated in 1970 and 1990, and it closed in 1996 after the Sabres', Bandits', and Blizzard's seasons ended. It remained vacant until the city demolished it in 2009.

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. [5] 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, eleven franchises have since relocated due to NHL parent clubs' influence on their development teams and players. Of the eleven relocated franchises, eight 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. [6] 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 [7] 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. [8] The Binghamton Senators were also purchased by the Ottawa Senators and were relocated to Belleville, Ontario, to become the Belleville Senators [9] while the New Jersey Devils' owned Albany Devils were relocated to become the Binghamton Devils. [10]

For the 2018–19 season, a 31st team joined the league with the Colorado Eagles as the NHL's Colorado Avalanche affiliate. [11]


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Locations of teams in the AHL as of the 2018–19 season. Dot colors correspond to the divisional alignment.
Current teams
DivisionTeamCityArenaFoundedJoinedHead CoachNHL Affiliate
Eastern Conference
Atlantic Bridgeport Sound Tigers Bridgeport, Connecticut Webster Bank Arena 2001 Brent Thompson New York Islanders
Charlotte Checkers Charlotte, North Carolina Bojangles' Coliseum 1990 [c 1] Mike Vellucci Carolina Hurricanes
Hartford Wolf Pack Hartford, Connecticut XL Center 1926 [c 1] 1936Vacant New York Rangers
Hershey Bears Hershey, Pennsylvania Giant Center 1938 Spencer Carbery Washington Capitals
Lehigh Valley Phantoms Allentown, Pennsylvania PPL Center 1996 [c 1] Scott Gordon Philadelphia Flyers
Providence Bruins Providence, Rhode Island Dunkin' Donuts Center 1987 [c 1] Jay Leach Boston Bruins
Springfield Thunderbirds Springfield, Massachusetts MassMutual Center 1975 [c 1] 1981 Geordie Kinnear Florida Panthers
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza 1981 [c 1] Clark Donatelli Pittsburgh Penguins
North Belleville Senators Belleville, Ontario CAA Arena 1972 [c 1] Troy Mann Ottawa Senators
Binghamton Devils Binghamton, New York Veterans Memorial Arena 1998 [c 1] Mark Dennehy New Jersey Devils
Cleveland Monsters Cleveland, Ohio Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse 1994 [c 1] 2001Vacant 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 Chris Taylor Buffalo Sabres
Syracuse Crunch Syracuse, New York Oncenter War Memorial Arena 1992 [c 1] Benoit Groulx Tampa Bay Lightning
Toronto Marlies Toronto, Ontario Coca-Cola Coliseum 1978 [c 1] Sheldon Keefe Toronto Maple Leafs
Utica Comets Utica, New York Adirondack Bank Center 1932 [c 1] 1936 Trent Cull Vancouver Canucks
Western Conference
Central Chicago Wolves Rosemont, Illinois Allstate Arena 19942001 Rocky Thompson Vegas Golden Knights
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
San Antonio Rampage San Antonio, Texas AT&T Center 1971 [c 1] Drew Bannister St. Louis Blues
Texas Stars Cedar Park, Texas H-E-B Center at Cedar Park 1999 [c 1] Derek Laxdal Dallas Stars
Pacific Bakersfield Condors Bakersfield, California Rabobank Arena 1984 [c 1] Jay Woodcroft Edmonton Oilers
Colorado Eagles [12] Loveland, Colorado Budweiser Events Center 20032018 Greg Cronin Colorado Avalanche
Ontario Reign Ontario, California Toyota Arena 2001 [c 1] Mike Stothers Los Angeles Kings
San Diego Gulls San Diego, California Pechanga Arena 2000 [c 1] Dallas Eakins Anaheim Ducks
San Jose Barracuda San Jose, California SAP Center at San Jose 1996 [c 1] Roy Sommer San Jose Sharks
Stockton Heat Stockton, California Stockton Arena 1977 [c 1] Cail MacLean Calgary Flames
Tucson Roadrunners Tucson, Arizona Tucson Convention Center 1994 [c 1] Jay Varady Arizona Coyotes
  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.


Colorado EaglesCleveland MonstersUtah Grizzlies (1995–2005)Manitoba MooseSt. John's IceCapsManitoba MooseMilwaukee AdmiralsOntario ReignManchester Monarchs (AHL)Iowa WildHouston Aeros (1994–2013)Grand Rapids GriffinsChicago WolvesBridgeport Sound TigersSan Diego GullsNorfolk Admirals (AHL)Texas StarsIowa StarsLouisville PanthersBinghamton 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 NighthawksSan 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 StarsUtica 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

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. 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.

January 28, 2019 [13] 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 29, 2018 [14] 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 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
February 1, 2016 Onondaga War Memorial Arena Syracuse, New York Round 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 26, 2015 Utica Memorial Auditorium Utica, New YorkWest All-Stars14–12East All-Stars
February 12, 2014 Mile One Centre St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador AHL All-Stars 7–2 Färjestad BK
January 28, 2013 Dunkin' Donuts Center Providence, Rhode Island West All-Stars7–6East All-Stars
January 30, 2012 Boardwalk Hall Atlantic City, New Jersey West All-Stars8–7 (SO)East All-Stars
January 31, 2011 Giant Center Hershey, Pennsylvania East All-Stars11–8West All-Stars
January 19, 2010 Cumberland County Civic Center Portland, Maine Canada10–9 (SO)PlanetUSA
January 26, 2009 DCU Center Worcester, Massachusetts PlanetUSA14–11Canada
January 28, 2008 Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena Binghamton, New York Canada9–8 (SO)PlanetUSA
January 29, 2007 Ricoh Coliseum Toronto, OntarioPlanetUSA7–6Canada
February 1, 2006 MTS Centre Winnipeg, MantitobaCanada9–4PlanetUSA
February 14, 2005 Verizon Wireless Arena Manchester, New Hampshire PlanetUSA5–4Canada
February 9, 2004 Van Andel Arena Grand Rapids, Michigan Canada9–5PlanetUSA
February 3, 2003 Cumberland County Civic Center Portland, MaineCanada10–7PlanetUSA
February 14, 2002 Mile One Stadium St. John's, Newfoundland and LabradorCanada13–11PlanetUSA
January 15, 2001 First Union Arena at Casey Plaza Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania Canada11–10PlanetUSA
January 17, 2000 Blue Cross Arena Rochester, New York Canada8–3PlanetUSA
January 25, 1999 First Union Center Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaPlanetUSA5–4 (SO)Canada
February 11, 1998 Onondaga War Memorial Arena Syracuse, New YorkCanada11–10PlanetUSA
January 16, 1997 Harbour Station Saint John, New Brunswick World3–2 (SO)Canada
January 16, 1996 Hersheypark Arena Hershey, PennsylvaniaUSA6–5Canada
January 17, 1995 Providence Civic Center Providence, Rhode IslandCanada6–4USA
December 10, 1959 Eastern States Coliseum West Springfield, Massachusetts Springfield Indians8–3AHL All-Stars
January 15, 1959 Hershey Sports Arena Hershey, PennsylvaniaHershey Bears5–2AHL All-Stars
October 6, 1957 Rochester Community War Memorial Rochester, New YorkAHL All-Stars5–2Cleveland Barons
October 23, 1956 Rhode Island Auditorium Providence, Rhode IslandProvidence Reds4–0AHL All-Stars
January 10, 1956 Duquesne Gardens Pittsburgh, PennsylvaniaAHL All-Stars4–4Pittsburgh Hornets
October 27, 1954Hershey Sports ArenaHershey, PennsylvaniaAHL All-Stars7–3Cleveland Barons
February 3, 1942 Cleveland Arena Cleveland, Ohio East All-Stars5–4West All-Stars

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. [15]

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. [16] 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. [17]

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


See also

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