AHL announces new division alignment
BY RYAN ABER
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. 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. The conferences were divided into six five-team divisions in the new alignment. 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 formats also needed to be 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 a best-of-five, 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 approved or announced yet but it’s likely the Barons will play each team in the conference. The schedule will be released later this summer.
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