AHL Board of Governors approves plan for schedule unificationJun 7, 2021
The following information was just announced by the American Hockey League regarding the regular season and playoff format for the AHL for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons. As outlined in the release below, the Cleveland Monsters will play 76 total regular season games including 38 home regular season games at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse and 38 road games during the 2021-22 season. Then as part of the league schedule unification plan beginning with the 2022-23 season, all AHL teams will play 72 regular season games (36 home and 36 road).
As an additional component of this plan beginning with the 2021-22 season, there will be an expanded playoff format whereby more teams from each division will qualify for the Calder Cup Playoffs (more details will be announced by the AHL later in the offseason). For the 21-22 season, the Monsters will return to the North Division of the Eastern Conference along with Belleville, Laval, Rochester, Syracuse, Toronto and Utica.
The American Hockey League is expected to release the 2021-22 schedule later this summer.
American Hockey League President and CEO Scott Howson announced that the league’s Board of Governors has approved a schedule unification plan that will see all teams play a 72-game regular-season schedule beginning in 2022-23.
As part of the plan, for the 2021-22 season, teams in the Atlantic, North and Central Divisions have the option of playing either 76 or 72 games, while teams in the Pacific Division will play 68 games. Additionally, there will be an increase in the number of teams qualifying for the Calder Cup Playoffs each year; details will be finalized and announced later in the offseason.
“I am very pleased that we were able to achieve a schedule of 72 games for all teams in the American Hockey League,” said Howson. “In coming together to create a plan that is fair and equitable, our owners have demonstrated a commitment to the long-term strength of the league.”
The following division alignment has been approved for the 2021-22 AHL season (National Hockey League affiliations in parentheses):
|Atlantic Division||North Division|
|Bridgeport Islanders (New York Islanders)||Belleville Senators (Ottawa Senators)|
|Charlotte Checkers (Florida Panthers)||Cleveland Monsters (Columbus Blue Jackets)|
|Hartford Wolf Pack (New York Rangers)||Laval Rocket (Montreal Canadiens)|
|Hershey Bears (Washington Capitals)||Rochester Americans (Buffalo Sabres)|
|Lehigh Valley Phantoms (Philadelphia Flyers)||Syracuse Crunch (Tampa Bay Lightning)|
|Providence Bruins (Boston Bruins)||Toronto Marlies (Toronto Maple Leafs)|
|Springfield Thunderbirds (St. Louis Blues)||
Utica Comets (New Jersey Devils)
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (Pittsburgh Penguins)
|Central Division||Pacific Division|
|Chicago Wolves (Carolina Hurricanes)||Abbotsford (Vancouver Canucks)|
|Grand Rapids Griffins (Detroit Red Wings)||Bakersfield Condors (Edmonton Oilers)|
|Iowa Wild (Minnesota Wild)||Colorado Eagles (Colorado Avalanche)|
|Manitoba Moose (Winnipeg Jets)||Henderson Silver Knights (Vegas Golden Knights)|
|Milwaukee Admirals (Nashville Predators)||Ontario Reign (Los Angeles Kings)|
|Rockford IceHogs (Chicago Blackhawks)||San Diego Gulls (Anaheim Ducks)|
|Texas Stars (Dallas Stars)||San Jose Barracuda (San Jose Sharks)|
Stockton Heat (Calgary Flames)
Tucson Roadrunners (Arizona Coyotes)
Teams playing 76 games in 2021-22: Chicago, Cleveland, Grand Rapids, Hershey, Lehigh Valley, Milwaukee, Rochester, Springfield, Syracuse, W-B/Scranton
Teams playing 72 games in 2021-22: Belleville, Bridgeport, Charlotte, Hartford, Iowa, Laval, Manitoba, Providence, Rockford, Texas, Toronto, Utica
Teams playing 68 games in 2021-22: Abbotsford, Bakersfield, Colorado, Henderson, Ontario, San Diego, San Jose, Stockton, Tucson
The playing schedule and postseason format for the 2021-22 season, which begins Oct. 15, will be announced this summer.
In operation since 1936, the AHL serves as the top development league for the players, coaches, managers, executives and broadcasters of every National Hockey League organization. Nearly 90 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame spent time in the AHL in their careers.