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AHL Announces Division Alignment, Video Review & Other Rules Changes
AHL Announces Division Alignment, Video Review & Other Rules Changes
Texas to Play in Renamed South Division

The American Hockey League’s Board of Governors has concluded its 2012 Annual Meeting, held this week at Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Chaired by AHL President and CEO David Andrews, the four days of meetings, which concluded on Thursday, resulted in the following:

2012-13 Alignment/Playoff Format
The Board has approved the following division alignment for the 2012-13 AHL season (NHL affiliates in parentheses):

Western Conference
North Division
Abbotsford Heat (CGY)
Hamilton Bulldogs (MTL)
Lake Erie Monsters (COL)
Rochester Americans (BUF)
Toronto Marlies (TOR)

Midwest Division
Chicago Wolves (VAN)
Grand Rapids Griffins (DET)
Milwaukee Admirals (NSH)
Peoria Rivermen (STL)
Rockford IceHogs (CHI)

South Division
Charlotte Checkers (CAR)
Houston Aeros (MIN)
Oklahoma City Barons (EDM)
San Antonio Rampage (FLA)
Texas Stars (DAL)

Eastern Conference
Atlantic Division
Manchester Monarchs (LA)
Portland Pirates (PHX)
Providence Bruins (BOS)
St. John’s IceCaps (WPG)
Worcester Sharks (SJ)

Northeast Division
Adirondack Phantoms (PHI)
Albany Devils (NJ)
Bridgeport Sound Tigers (NYI)
Connecticut Whale (NYR)
Springfield Falcons (CBJ)

East Division
Binghamton Senators (OTT)
Hershey Bears (WSH)
Norfolk Admirals (ANA)
Syracuse Crunch (TB)
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (PIT)

Changes from last year’s alignment include Abbotsford moving to the North Division, Grand Rapids moving to the Midwest Division and Charlotte moving to the renamed South Division.

The regular-season schedule format and Calder Cup Playoffs format are still to be determined, and the complete playing schedule for the 2012-13 regular season, which begins Oct. 12, will be announced later this summer.

Video Review
The Board has approved the use of a video goal-review system for AHL games beginning with the 2012-13 season.

Rules Changes
The AHL has adopted the following rule changes recently approved for use in the National Hockey League:

• Rule 67.2 (“Handling the Puck”) now calls for a minor penalty “any time a player places his hand over the puck while it is on the ice in order to conceal it from or prevent an opponent from playing the puck”.

• Rule 76.4 (“Face-offs”) states that “both players facing off are prohibited from batting the puck with their hand in an attempt to win the face-off.” Violation of this rule will result in a minor penalty for delay of game.

• The Board has also approved a test of a variation on Rule 81 (“Icing”) at the request of the National Hockey League, that will, in the event of a potential icing violation, complete the play should a defending player be the first to reach the end zone face-off dots and provided the puck has crossed the goal line at that point. This rule will be in effect until Nov. 19, 2012, at which time its continued use will be determined by the Board. This was the only rules test approved.

In operation since 1936, the AHL continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 88 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and for the 11th year in a row, more than 6 million fans attended AHL games across North America in 2011-12.
Posted on 06/29/12

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