By: Hamilton Bulldogs
07/03/2012 6:00 AM - SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League’s Board of Governors has concluded its 2012 Annual Meeting, held this week at Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
Chaired by AHL President and Chief Executive Officer David Andrews, the four days of meetings, which concluded on Thursday, resulted in the following:
2012-2013 ALIGNMENT / PLAYOFF FORMAT
The Board has approved the following division alignment for the 2012-2013 AHL season (NHL affiliates in parentheses):
Abbotsford Heat (Calgary Flames)
Hamilton Bulldogs (Montreal Canadiens)
Lake Erie Monsters (Colorado Avalanche)
Rochester Americans (Buffalo Sabres)
Toronto Marlies (Toronto Maple Leafs)
Chicago Wolves (Vancouver Canucks)
Grand Rapids Griffins (Detroit Red Wings)
Milwaukee Admirals (Nashville Predators)
Peoria Rivermen (St. Louis Blues)
Rockford IceHogs (Chicago Blackhawks)
Charlotte Checkers (Carolina Hurricanes)
Houston Aeros (Minnesota Wild)
Oklahoma City Barons (Edmonton Oilers)
San Antonio Rampage (Florida Panthers)
Texas Stars (Dallas Stars)
Manchester Monarchs (Los Angeles Kings)
Portland Pirates (Phoenix Coyotes)
Providence Bruins (Boston Bruins)
St. John’s IceCaps (Winnipeg Jets)
Worcester Sharks (San Jose Sharks)
Adirondack Phantoms (Philadelphia Flyers)
Albany Devils (New Jersey Devils)
Bridgeport Sound Tigers (New York Islanders)
Connecticut Whale (New York Rangers)
Springfield Falcons (Columbus Blue Jackets)
Binghamton Senators (Ottawa Senators)
Hershey Bears (Washington Capitals)
Norfolk Admirals (Anaheim Ducks)
Syracuse Crunch (Tampa Bay Lightning)
Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Changes from last year’s alignment include Abbotsford moving to the North Division, Grand Rapids moving to the Midwest Division and Charlotte moving to the renamed South Division.
The regular season schedule format and Calder Cup Playoff format are still to be determined, and the complete playing schedule for the 2012-2013 regular season, which begins Friday, October 12, will be announced later this summer.
The Board has approved the use of a video goal-review system for AHL games beginning with the 2012-2013 season.
The AHL has adopted the following rule changes recently approved for use in the National Hockey League:
• Rule 67.2 (“Handling the Puck”) now calls for a minor penalty “any time a player places his hand over the puck while it is on the ice in order to conceal it from or prevent an opponent from playing the puck”.
• Rule 76.4 (“Face-offs”) states that “both players facing off are prohibited from batting the puck with their hand in an attempt to win the face-off.” Violation of this rule will result in a minor penalty for delay of game.
• The Board has also approved a test of a variation on Rule 81 (“Icing”) at the request of the National Hockey League, that will, in the event of a potential icing violation, complete the play should a defending player be the first to reach the end zone face-off dots and provided the puck has crossed the goal line at that point. This rule will be in effect until November 19, 2012, at which time its continued use will be determined by the Board. This was the only rules test approved.
In operation since 1936, the AHL continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 88 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and for the 11th year in a row, more than 6 million fans attended AHL games across North America in 2011-2012.
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