AHL to celebrate 75th anniversary season

SPRINGFIELD, Mass … The American Hockey League is proud to announce that it will be celebrating its 75th-anniversary season in 2010-11 with several exciting initiatives designed to commemorate the league’s rich history and storied traditions.

The league’s 75th season will kick off on Oct. 8, 2010, with a special set of home-and-home series featuring the AHL’s six senior-most cities. The Hershey Bears will face the Rochester Americans, the Providence Bruins will take on the Springfield Falcons and the Lake Erie Monsters will square off against the Syracuse Crunch while wearing throwback uniforms that will hark back to the earliest days of the American Hockey League. Providence, Springfield, Cleveland and Syracuse were among the league’s charter cities in 1936, with Hershey coming aboard in 1938 and Rochester hitting the ice in 1956.

2010-11 Throwback Openers
Fri., Oct. 8 – Springfield at Providence
Fri., Oct. 8 – Syracuse at Lake Erie
Sat., Oct. 9 – Providence at Springfield
Sat., Oct. 9 – Lake Erie at Syracuse
Sun., Oct. 10 – Hershey at Rochester
Sat., Oct. 16 – Rochester at Hershey

The 2011 AHL All-Star Classic will take place at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa., on January 30-31, and will mark a return to an East vs. West format, pitting players from each of the AHL’s two conferences against each other. This will be the first East-West All-Star Game in the AHL since 1942, and the 2011 event will feature the league’s All-Stars wearing authentic throwback sweaters.

The American Hockey League will be using special logos to observe its 75th anniversary throughout the coming year. Designed by Derek Abraham of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, the logos can be seen at theahl.com. All team uniforms throughout the 2010-11 season will include the anniversary logo as a jersey patch and a helmet decal, and several teams during the year will wear special vintage theme jerseys celebrating the AHL’s 75th anniversary.

A special line of 75th-anniversary merchandise will also be available at ahlstore.com beginning later this summer.

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). Since 2001, the AHL has been the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams, with more than 85 percent of today’s NHL players having graduated from the American Hockey League. Through the years, the AHL has also been home to more than 100 future members of the Hockey Hall of Fame.