The AHL announced several league changes on Wednesday that will alter the division alignments for the 2014-2015 season.
The biggest changes will see two AHL teams relocating for the upcoming season. The Abbotsford Heat are moving from British Columbia to Glens Falls, NY. The team will be renamed the Adirondack Flames and will play in the North Division and remain the AHL affiliate of the Calgary Flames.
This will make six teams in the state of New York for the AHL – or one-fifth of the league.
The Abbotsford move will affect the Rochester Americans, as they’ll be in the same division as the Amerks now; the Lake Erie Monsters will no longer be in the North Division with Rochester.
Another AHL team moving is the Philadelphia Flyers’ affiliate; they’re moving out of Glens Falls to Allentown, PA. They’ll play in the East Division as the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
Other division alignments include the move of the Lake Erie Monsters from the North Division to the Midwest Division — so the Amerks won’t see them quite as often.
Last season saw the two teams face each other a whopping 10 times; this year, it won’t be nearly as often.
The Syracuse Crunch will move to the Northeast Division, and the Iowa Wild will move from the Midwest Division to the West Division.
So how are things looking for the Rochester Americans in the 2014-2015 season?
The Amerks will continue to play in the Western Conference, North Division. Joining them will be the Utica Comets, Hamilton Bulldogs, Toronto Marlies and Adirondack Flames.
Expect to see Rochester face these teams many times next season. Last year, the Amerks played their division rivals eight to ten times during the regular season — so the competition with the Toronto Marlies, etc. will not falter.
The season begins on Friday, October 10, which will be opening night for the Rochester Americans. The full AHL schedule will be released later this summer, but you can bet we’ll see a lot of Utica, Hamilton, Toronto and Adirondack.