The American Hockey League announced a new divisional alignment Tuesday as its annual Board of Governors meetings continued in Hilton Head, S.C.
The Oklahoma City Barons remain in the West Division with Houston, San Antonio, Texas and Abbotsford in the new six-division alignment.
The other teams that were in the West last season — Chicago, Milwaukee, Peoria and Rockford — will be joined by Charlotte in the Midwest Division.
The other Western Conference division, the North, will feature Grand Rapids, Hamilton, Lake Erie, Rochester and Toronto.
The realignment was necessitated by Winnipeg's return to the NHL and the city's AHL team — and new Jets affiliate — moving to St. John's, Newfoundland.
St. John's will move to the Eastern Conference's Atlantic Division, while Charlotte moved to the Western Conference and the Midwest Division.
The playoff format also was adjusted.
The division winners will earn the top three seeds in each conference, while the next five teams will earn the fourth-eighth seeds. After the first round of playoffs, which will be best-of-five series, the brackets will be reseeded so that the highest remaining seed will play the lowest in each conference. All subsequent rounds of playoffs remain best-of-seven.
The scheduling format hasn't been announced. The schedule will be released later this summer.
The meetings continue through Thursday.
STORTINI SIGNS WITH NASHVILLE
Zack Stortini, who spent the latter part of the season with the Barons after being sent down from the Oilers, signed a one-year, two-way contract with Nashville on Tuesday.
Stortini, 25, had a goal and two assists in 29 games with the Barons last season after picking up four assists in 32 games with Edmonton.
Stortini's deal is worth $550,000 at the NHL level and $75,000 in the AHL.
OILERS' DEVELOPMENT CAMP CONTINUES
The Edmonton Oilers continued their development camp in Alberta on Tuesday.
In addition to the young players looking to break through in the NHL was Oilers alternate captain Ales Hemsky.
Hemsky skated with the youngsters to test his surgically repaired shoulders.
Many of the players taking part in the camp figure to spend at least part of the year with the Barons.
Last year's participants included six players who spent lengthy times with the Barons, including Philippe Cornet, Teemu Hartikainen, Milan Kytnar, Jeff Petry and Chris VandeVelde.