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AHL Realigns Divisions, Changes Playoff Format

Courtesy Albany Devils
The AHL will have a new look when the season kicks off in October.  The divisions have been realigned and the playoff format has been changed.
 
The AHL’s structure will consist of six divisions of five teams each which matches the NHL’s alignment.
 
Both the Albany Devils and Adirondack Phantoms will now play in the newly formed Northeast Division.
 
The Division will consist of the Albany Devils (NJ), Adirondack Phantoms (PHI), Bridgeport Sound Tigers (NYI), Connecticut Whale (NYR) and Springfield Falcons (CBJ).
 
The format for the 2012 Calder Cup Playoffs was also tweaked. Eight teams in each conference will qualify for the postseason, with the three division winners earning the top three seeds and the next five best teams in order of regular-season points seeded fourth through eighth.
The conference quarterfinals will be best-of-five series; the conference semifinals, conference finals and Calder Cup Finals will be best-of-seven series. Teams will be re-ordered after the first round so that the highest-remaining seed plays the lowest-remaining seed. 
 
Listed below is the complete realignment for the AHL:
 
Eastern Conference
  
Atlantic Division
Manchester Monarchs (LA)
Portland Pirates (PHX)
Providence Bruins (BOS)
St. John’s (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 (TB)
Syracuse Crunch (ANA)
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (PIT)
 
 
Western Conference
  
 
North Division
Grand Rapids Griffins (DET)
Hamilton Bulldogs (MTL)
Lake Erie Monsters (COL)
Rochester Americans (BUF)
Toronto Marlies (TOR)
  
Midwest Division
Charlotte Checkers (CAR)
Chicago Wolves (VAN)
Milwaukee Admirals (NSH)
Peoria Rivermen (STL)
Rockford IceHogs (CHI)
  
West Division
Abbotsford Heat (CGY)
Houston Aeros (MIN)
Oklahoma City Barons (EDM)
San Antonio Rampage (FLA)
Texas Stars (DAL)  

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