SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League today released the complete schedule of games for the 2018-19 regular season, the league’s 83rd year of operation.
The season, with an all-time high of 31 teams playing a total of 1,150 games, begins on Friday, October 5 and concludes on Sunday, April 14.
Some highlights of the 2018-19 schedule:
• The 2018-19 regular season opens with nine games on Oct. 5, including the debut of the expansion Colorado Eagles (top affiliate of the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche) as they host Chicago at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, Colo.
• Also on Oct. 5, the Toronto Marlies begin defense of their 2018 Calder Cup championship with a visit to Utica. The defending Western Conference champion Texas Stars also open on Oct. 5, hosting Grand Rapids.
• On Mon., Oct. 8, the Marlies celebrate their 2018 Calder Cup championship when they drop the puck for their home opener, a Thanksgiving matinee at Coca-Cola Coliseum against the Cleveland Monsters, newest members of the North Division.
• The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins will skate in their 1,500th regular-season game on Oct. 27 when they visit Hershey.
• The oldest rivalry in the AHL is renewed when the Hershey Bears and Rochester Americans face off in a home-and-home weekend series, Nov. 2-3. The teams have met 456 times previously in the regular season since 1956.
• Springfield hosts the 2019 Lexus AHL All-Star Classic presented by MGM Springfield, Jan. 27 and 28 at the MassMutual Center.
• There are six days this season on which 30 of the league’s 31 teams are in action: Sat., Oct. 13; Sat., Dec. 8; Fri., Dec. 21; Sat., Dec. 22; Sat., Jan. 19; and Sat., Mar. 30.
• The 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs will get underway the week of Apr. 15, featuring the top four teams in each of the AHL’s four divisions.
The American Hockey League was officially born in 1936 when the Canadian-American Hockey League and the International Hockey League merged to form the International-American Hockey League (the “International” would be dropped from the league’s name in 1940). The AHL continues to serve as the top development league for all 31 National Hockey League teams; more than 87 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame spent time in the AHL in their careers.