AHL Officially Realigns for 2015-2016 Season


We all know that the AHL will look vastly different next season thanks to several teams moving, but today the league finally announced what that realignment will look like for next season.

Eastern Conference

North Division
Albany Devils (NJ)
Binghamton Senators (OTT)
Rochester Americans (BUF)
St. John’s IceCaps (MTL) (formerly Winnipeg Jets)
Syracuse Crunch (TB)
Toronto Marlies (TOR)
Utica Comets (VAN)

Atlantic Division
Bridgeport Sound Tigers (NYI)
Hartford Wolf Pack (NYR)
Hershey Bears (WSH)
Lehigh Valley Phantoms (PHI)
Portland Pirates (FLA) (formerly Arizona Coyotes)
Providence Bruins (BOS)
Springfield Falcons (ARI) (formerly Columbus Blue Jackets)
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (PIT)

Western Conference

Central Division
Charlotte Checkers (CAR)
Chicago Wolves (STL)
Grand Rapids Griffins (DET)
Iowa Wild (MIN)
Lake Erie Monsters (CBJ) (formerly Colorado Avalanche)
Manitoba Moose (WPG) (new team, relocated St. John’s IceCaps roster)
Milwaukee Admirals (NSH)
Rockford IceHogs (CHI)

Pacific Division
Bakersfield Condors (EDM) (formerly the Oklahoma City Barons)
Ontario Reign (LA) (formerly the Manchester Monarchs)
San Antonio Rampage (COL) (formerly Florida Panthers)
San Diego Gulls (ANA) (formerly Norfolk Admirals)
San Jose Barracuda (SJ) (formerly Worcester Sharks)
Stockton Heat (CGY) (formerly Adirondack Flames)
Texas Stars (DAL)

To recap, the teams that are gone are Oklahoma City, Hamilton, Manchester, Norfolk, Worcester, and Adirondack. All but Oklahoma City and Worcester will be getting replacements in the ECHL, or in Hamilton’s case, the Ontario Hockey League.

The Pacific Division is interesting, because it was envisioned to be an all California division. Instead it now adds the two Texas teams, of which the Texas Stars remain the only unaltered club. San Antonio now belongs to the Colorado Avalanche, after they lost the Lake Erie Monsters to Columbus. San Antonio had belonged to Florida, but the Panthers instead took the Portland Pirates from Arizona, who replaced the ‘Jackets in Springfield.

New England, a hotbed for hockey, really loses out on all of this the most. The Monarchs, who have always been successful, are relegated to the ECHL. Worcester doesn’t even get a replacement team at the DCU Center, and it has been known the Coyotes want to move their AHL club to Arizona eventually, so the Falcons may not last long in Springfield.

If the Coyotes did switch to an Arizona club, that could shake up the Pacific Division with likely Texas moving to the Central division, which remains stable. The only change is the Manitoba Moose, who make their return to Winnipeg as they move away from St. Johns.

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