|EASTERN CONFERENCE||WESTERN CONFERENCE|
|Atlantic Division||North Division|
|Northeast Division||Midwest Division|
|East Division||West Division|
|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.