AHL Announces 2001-2002 Alignment

By Corine Gatti

The realignment includes three divisions in each of the two conferences. The
2001-2002 AHL alignment is as follows:

Western Conference

WestCentral South ChicagoCincinnati*Hershey Grand RapidsCleveland Norfolk HoustonRochester*Philadelphia MilwaukeeSyracuse*Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Utah

Eastern Conference

EastNorthCanadian AlbanyLowellHamilton BridgeportManchesterManitoba HartfordPortlandQuebec ProvidenceWorcesterSaint John SpringfieldSt. John’s

“We are very excited about the new alignment,” stated Norfolk Admirals
owner Mark Garcea. “The Admirals played some of their most memorable games
against these teams last season, including the playoff series against
Hershey. Our fans should see big rivalries continue against the new division
foes all season long.”

Last season, all four teams in the new South Division were in the AHL’s
Western Conference. Norfolk was in the Southern Division, while Hershey,
Philadelphia and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton were all in the Mid-Atlantic
Division. The Admirals faced each of the three teams eight times during the
regular season, the most games against any teams outside of their division.
The new South Division teams are those closest to Norfolk geographically.

The realignment places five of the expansion teams from the former
International Hockey League (IHL) in the Western Conference’s West Division,
with the sixth former IHL club, Manitoba, joining the Eastern Conference’s
Canadian Division.

Each AHL club will play an unbalanced 80 game schedule featuring traditional
and regional rivalries. The schedule format detailing the frequency of games
between opponents will be announced tomorrow at 12:00 Noon EST.

The Calder Cup Playoff Format will be determined at the AHL Annual Meeting,
which will take place July 9-12 in Hilton Head, S.C.