SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League’s Board of Governors has concluded its 2012 Annual Meeting, held this week at Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Chaired by AHL President and CEO David Andrews, the four days of meetings, which concluded on Thursday, resulted in the following:
The Board has approved the following division alignment for the 2012-13 AHL season:
|EASTERN CONFERENCE||WESTERN CONFERENCE|
|Atlantic Division||North Division|
|Northeast Division||Midwest Division|
|East Division||South Division|
|Also see: NHL affiliations list|
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 Playoffs format are still to be determined, and the complete playing schedule for the 2012-13 regular season, which begins Oct. 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 2012-13 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 Nov. 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 2011-12.