30-team lineup set for 2010-11

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … American Hockey League President and CEO David Andrews announced that the league will operate with an all-time high of 30 active teams in 2010-11, which will also mark the AHL’s historic 75th season.

All 30 National Hockey League teams will have their own primary affiliate playing in the AHL next fall. The league’s Board of Governors has approved the following division alignment for 2010-11 (NHL affiliates in parentheses):

Atlantic Division   East Division
Bridgeport Sound Tigers (NYI)   Adirondack Phantoms (PHI)
Hartford Wolf Pack (NYR)   Albany Devils (NJ)
Manchester Monarchs (LA)   Binghamton Senators (OTT)
Portland Pirates (BUF)   Charlotte Checkers (CAR)
Providence Bruins (BOS)   Hershey Bears (WSH)
Springfield Falcons (CBJ)   Norfolk Admirals (TB)
Worcester Sharks (SJ)   Syracuse Crunch (ANA)
      W-B/Scranton Penguins (PIT)
North Division   West Division
Abbotsford Heat (CGY)   Chicago Wolves (ATL)
Grand Rapids Griffins (DET)   Houston Aeros (MIN)
Hamilton Bulldogs (MTL)   Milwaukee Admirals (NSH)
Lake Erie Monsters (COL)   Oklahoma City Barons (EDM)
Manitoba Moose (VAN)   Peoria Rivermen (STL)
Rochester Americans (FLA)   Rockford IceHogs (CHI)
Toronto Marlies (TOR)   San Antonio Rampage (PHX)
      Texas Stars (DAL)

The format for the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs will be determined by the Board of Governors at its Annual Meeting in Hilton Head Island, S.C., July 5-8. The complete playing schedule for the 2010-11 regular season, which begins Oct. 8, will be announced later this summer.

In operation since 1936, the AHL continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 85 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and for the ninth year in a row, more than 6 million fans attended AHL games across North America in 2009-10.