Report: California AHL Teams to Play 68 Games Next Season


The American Hockey League announced on Saturday that the five new teams in California will play 68 games each next season while the rest of the AHL will play 76 games.

This news creates an interesting imbalance in the AHL. Currently, the five new teams in California are the Bakersfield Condors, Ontario Reign, San Diego Gulls, San Jose Barracuda and Stockton Heat. These teams along with the San Antonio Rampage and the Texas Stars form the AHL’s Pacific Division.

These five teams play 68 games yet their other two division rivals will play 76 teams. Obviously at first glance, it will be much easier for the Rampage and the Stars to make the AHL playoffs next season. It will be interesting to see how the standings will work with the Stars and Rampage playing 8 extra games, with the potential to earn 16 extra points.

The AHL’s schedule has never truly been balanced. Teams play primarily within their division or conference and often in uneven amounts of games. It’s nothing new as many teams in the AHL do not make big money and need to save in all possible ways.

It had been rumored earlier that the AHL would look to cut back from 76 games to 72 or 68 games. However the decision to cut down on only the California based teams is a head scratcher.

Our questions won’t be answered for a couple weeks. The 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs and the complete schedule for the 2015-16 AHL regular season will be finalized by the Board of Governors at its Annual Meeting in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina from July 6-9.

The American Hockey League regular season is set to begin on October 9th.