Alignment, playoff format set for 2011-12

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … American Hockey League President and CEO David Andrews announced that the league’s Board of Governors, convening this week for its Annual Meeting in Hilton Head Island, S.C., has approved the following division alignment for the 2011-12 AHL season:

Atlantic Division North Division
por09_500.jpg ham09_500.jpg
pro09_500.jpg le09_500.jpg
stj11_500 rch09_500.jpg
wor09_500.jpg tor09_500.jpg
Northeast Division Midwest Division
adk09_500.jpg cha
alb10_500.jpg chi09_500.jpg
bri09_500.jpg mil09_500.jpg
ct10_500.jpg peo09_500.jpg
spr10_500.jpg rfd09_500.jpg
East Division West Division
bng09_500.jpg abb09_500.jpg
her09_500.jpg hou09_500.jpg
nor09_500.jpg okc10_500.jpg
syr09_500.jpg sa09_500.jpg
wbs09_500.jpg tex09_500.jpg
Also see: NHL affiliations list

The format for the 2012 Calder Cup Playoffs was also approved by the Board of Governors. Eight teams in each conference will qualify for the postseason, with the three division winners earning the top three seeds and the next five best teams in order of regular-season points seeded fourth through eighth.

The conference quarterfinals will be best-of-five series; the conference semifinals, conference finals and Calder Cup Finals will be best-of-seven series. Teams will be re-ordered after the first round so that the highest-remaining seed plays the lowest-remaining seed.

The regular-season schedule format is still to be determined, and the complete playing schedule for the 2011-12 regular season, which begins Oct. 7, 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 87 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and for the 10th year in a row, more than 6 million fans attended AHL games across North America in 2010-11.