AHL’s Spring Meeting concludes

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … American Hockey League President and CEO David Andrews announced that the league’s Board of Governors unanimously approved the following actions at its annual Spring Meeting, held today at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Springfield:

·  Ownership of the inactive Utah Grizzlies franchise has been transferred from the Elmore Sports Group to Dan Gilbert, majority owner of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers and chairman and founder of Quicken Loans, Inc. Additionally, the Cavaliers have been granted approval to relocate the franchise from Salt Lake City to Cleveland to begin play at the Quicken Loans Arena in 2007-08.

·  Controlling ownership interest in the AHL’s Lowell, Mass., franchise has been transferred from Elkin McCallum to the National Hockey League’s New Jersey Devils, who will also become Lowell’s primary affiliate in 2006-07.

·  Conference and division alignment was approved for the 2006-07 regular season (see below).

Tuesday’s meeting also formally introduced the AHL’s new entry for 2006-07, the Worcester Sharks. Worcester will serve as the top development team for the NHL’s San Jose Sharks beginning in the fall.

The Board will consider the regular-season schedule format and the Calder Cup Playoff format for 2006-07 at the league’s Annual Meeting, scheduled for June 26-29 at Hilton Head Island, S.C.

In operation since 1936, the AHL continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. Twenty-seven teams began the season on the chase for the Calder Cup championship, and only five remain as the division final round of the 2006 Calder Cup Playoffs concludes tonight.

2006-07 American Hockey League Divisional Alignment

Eastern Conference
Atlantic Division
Hartford (NYR)
Lowell (NJ)
Manchester (LA)
Portland (ANA)
Providence (BOS)
Springfield (TB)
Worcester (SJ)

East Division
Albany (CAR/COL)
Binghamton (OTT)
Bridgeport (NYI)
Hershey (
Norfolk (CHI)
Philadelphia (
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (PIT)

Western Conference
North Division
Grand Rapids (DET)
Hamilton (MTL)
Manitoba (VAN)
Rochester (BUF/FLA)
Syracuse (
Toronto (TOR)

West Division
Chicago (ATL)
Houston (MIN)
Iowa (
Milwaukee (
Omaha (CGY)
Peoria (
San Antonio (