American Hockey League
Current season, competition or edition:|
31px 2014–15 AHL season
American Hockey League logo
|Founded||1936 (IHL/C-AHL Interlocking schedules); 1938 (IHL/C-AHL formally merged)|
|No. of teams||30|
United States (27 teams)|
Canada (3 teams)
|Most recent champion(s)||Texas Stars|
|Most titles||Hershey Bears (11)|
Canada (English): Sportsnet/Sportsnet One |
Canada (French): TVA Sports
Europe: Premier Sports
United States: NHL Network
- 1 History
- 2 Teams
- 3 AHL teams of the past and present
- 4 AHL All-Star Game
- 5 AHL Outdoor Games
- 6 AHL Hall of Fame
- 7 Trophies and awards
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
The AHL traces its origins directly to two predecessor professional leagues: the Canadian-American Hockey League (the "Can-Am" League), founded in 1926, and the first International Hockey League, established in 1929. Although the Can-Am League never operated with more than six teams, the departure of the Boston Bruin Cubs after the 1935–36 season reduced it down to just four member clubs – Springfield Indians, Philadelphia Ramblers, Providence Reds, and New Haven Eagles – for the first time in its history. At the same time, the then-rival IHL lost half of its eight members after the 1935–36 season, also leaving it with just four member teams: Buffalo Bisons, Syracuse Stars, Pittsburgh Hornets and Cleveland Falcons.
With both leagues down to the bare minimum in membership, the governors of each recognized the need for action to assure their member clubs' long-term survival. Their solution was to play an interlocking schedule. While the Can-Am was based in the Northeast and the IHL in the Great Lakes and Midwest, their footprints were close enough for this to be a viable option. The two older leagues' eight surviving clubs began joint play in November 1936 as a new two-division "circuit of mutual convenience" known as the International-American Hockey League. The four Can-Am teams became the I-AHL East Division, with the IHL quartet playing as the West Division. The IHL also contributed its former championship trophy, the F. G. "Teddy" Oke Trophy, which would go to the regular-season winners of the merged league's West Division until 1952. The Oke Trophy is now awarded to the regular-season winners of the AHL's Northeast Division.
A little more than a month into that first season, the balance and symmetry of the new combined circuit suffered a setback when its membership unexpectedly fell to seven teams. The West's Buffalo Bisons were forced to cease operations on December 6, 1936, after playing just 11 games, because of what proved to be insurmountable financial problems and lack of access to a suitable arena; the Bisons' original arena, Peace Bridge Arena, had collapsed the previous season. (A new Buffalo Bisons would return in 1940 after a new arena was constructed for them.) The makeshift new I-AHL played out the rest of its first season (as well as all of the next) with just seven teams.
At the end of the 1936-37 season, a modified three-round playoff format was devised and a new championship trophy, the Calder Cup, was established. The Syracuse Stars defeated the Philadelphia Ramblers in the final, three-games-to-one, to win the first-ever Calder Cup championship. The Calder Cup continues on today as the AHL's playoff championship trophy.
Formal consolidation of the I-AHLMaurice Podoloff of New Haven, the former head of the Can-Am League, was elected the I-AHL's first president. The former IHL president, John Chick of Windsor, Ontario, became vice-president in charge of officials.
The new I-AHL also added an eighth franchise at the 1938 meeting to fill the void in its membership left by the loss of Buffalo two years earlier with the admission of the then two-time defending Eastern Amateur Hockey League (EAHL) champion Hershey Bears. The Bears remain the only one of these eight original I-AHL/AHL franchises to have been represented in the league without interruption since the 1938–39 season. The newly merged circuit also increased its regular-season schedule for each team by six games from 48 to 54.
Contraction, resurrection, and expansion
After the 1939-40 season the I-AHL renamed itself the American Hockey League. It generally enjoyed both consistent success on the ice and relative financial stability over its first three decades of operation. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, however, the cost of doing business in professional ice hockey began to rise sharply with NHL expansion and relocation (a process which involved the placing of teams in Pittsburgh and Buffalo, forcing two long-time AHL clubs, the Pittsburgh Hornets and Buffalo Bisons, to fold) and especially the 1972 formation of the World Hockey Association (WHA), which forced the relocation and subsequent folding of the Cleveland Barons, Baltimore Clippers and Quebec Aces. The number of major-league teams competing for players rose from six to thirty in just seven years. Player salaries at all levels shot up dramatically with the increased demand and competition for their services.
This did not seem to affect the AHL at first, as it expanded to 12 teams by 1970. However, to help compensate for the rise in player salaries, many NHL clubs cut back on the number of players they kept under contract for development, and players under AHL contracts could now also demand much higher paychecks to remain with their clubs. As a result, half of the AHL's teams folded from 1974 to 1977. The league bottomed out in the summer of 1977 with news that the Rhode Island (formerly Providence) Reds – the last remaining uninterrupted franchise from the 1936-37 season, and the oldest continuously operating minor league franchise in North America – had decided to cease operations after 51 years in Rhode Island.
The AHL appeared in serious danger of folding altogether if this downward trend was not reversed. However, two events in the fall of 1977 helped reverse the trend. The first of these was the decision of the NHL's Philadelphia Flyers to return to the league as a team owner, and the second was the unexpected collapse of the North American Hockey League just weeks before the start of the 1977–78 season.
The Flyers' new AHL franchise became the immediately successful Maine Mariners, which brought the new AHL city of Portland, Maine both the regular-season and Calder Cup playoff titles in each of that club's first two seasons of operation. The folding of the NAHL, meanwhile, suddenly left two of its stronger teams, the Philadelphia Firebirds and Binghamton, New York-based Broome Dusters, without a league to play in. The owners of the Dusters solved their problem by buying the Reds franchise and moving it to Binghamton as the Binghamton Dusters, while the Firebirds crossed over to the AHL from the NAHL. The Dusters and Firebirds, together with the Hampton Gulls (who had joined the league from the Southern Hockey League), boosted the AHL to nine member clubs as the 1977–78 season opened. Hampton folded on February 10, 1978, but was replaced the next year by the New Brunswick Hawks. With franchise stability improving after the demise of the WHA in 1979, the league continued to grow steadily over the years, reaching 20 clubs by the 2000–01 season.
Absorption of the IHL
In 2001–02, the AHL's membership jumped dramatically to 27 teams, mostly by the absorption of six teams – Milwaukee, Chicago, Houston, Salt Lake City, Utah, Winnipeg, Manitoba, and Grand Rapids – from the International Hockey League. The IHL had established itself as the second top-level minor league circuit in North America, but had folded in 2001 due to financial problems. One oddity caused by the AHL's 2001 expansion was that the league had two teams with the same nickname: the Milwaukee Admirals and the Norfolk Admirals. The latter team transferred to the league from the mid-level ECHL in 2000. This situation lasted until the end of the 2014-2015 season when the Norfolk team moved to San Diego and was replaced by another ECHL team with the same name.
The Utah Grizzlies suspended operations after the 2004–05 season (the franchise was sold in 2006 and returned to the ice in Cleveland in 2007 as the Lake Erie Monsters). The Chicago Wolves (2002, 2008), Houston Aeros (2003), Milwaukee Admirals (2004), and Grand Rapids Griffins (2013) have all won Calder Cup titles since joining the AHL from the IHL. Chicago and Milwaukee have also made multiple trips to the Calder Cup Finals, and Houston made their second Finals appearance in 2011.
The Manitoba Moose moved to St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador in 2011 and were renamed the St. John's IceCaps after the NHL's Atlanta Thrashers moved to Winnipeg as the second incarnation of the Winnipeg Jets. In 2013, Houston moved to Des Moines, Iowa to become the Iowa Wild. This left Chicago, Grand Rapids and Milwaukee as the only ex-IHL teams still in their original cities until the 2015 relocations when the IceCaps moved back to Winnipeg as the Manitoba Moose.
Seven franchises will move for the 2015-16 season, representing nearly a quarter of the 30-team league.
In January 2015, the AHL announced the formation of a new 'Pacific Division', to be composed of existing AHL franchises relocated to California. The teams are all affiliates of teams in the NHL's Pacific Division.
- The Adirondack Flames, affiliate of the Calgary Flames, will relocate to Stockton to become the Stockton Heat. The ECHL Stockton Thunder will relocate to Glens Falls, New York, to become the ECHL Adirondack Thunder.
- The Manchester Monarchs, affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings, will relocate to Ontario, California, to become the AHL Ontario Reign. The ECHL Ontario Reign will relocate to Manchester, New Hampshire, to become the ECHL Manchester Monarchs.
- The Norfolk Admirals, affiliate of the Anaheim Ducks, will relocate to San Diego to become the San Diego Gulls.
- The Oklahoma City Barons, affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers, will relocate to Bakersfield to become the AHL Bakersfield Condors, after the Oilers and Barons agreed to shutter operations in Oklahoma City after the season. The ECHL Bakersfield Condors will relocate to Norfolk, Virginia, and become the ECHL Norfolk Admirals.
- The Worcester Sharks, affiliate of the San Jose Sharks, will relocate to San Jose to become the San Jose Barracuda.
In March 2015, the AHL announced more relocations, this time in Canada.
- The current St. John's IceCaps franchise, affiliate of the Winnipeg Jets, will relocate to Winnipeg and resume its former name, the Manitoba Moose. They had previously played in Winnipeg from 1996 to 2011 until being displaced by the Jets.
- The Hamilton Bulldogs, affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens, will relocate to St. John's, Newfoundland, and become a new iteration of the IceCaps. The name will be kept but the color scheme is expected to change to reflect the Canadiens' palette. However, the team is expected to move again after the 2016-17 season to a new arena in Laval, a suburb of Montreal.
* Relocating at the end of season to the AHL's new Pacific Division.
** Relocating at the end of the season to Winnipeg, MB.
*** Relocating at the end of the season to St. John's, NL.
<timeline> DateFormat = mm/dd/yyyy ImageSize = width:1000 height:auto barincrement:20 Period = from:01/01/1936 till:07/01/2020 TimeAxis = orientation:horizontal PlotArea = right:40 left:0 bottom:50 top:5
id:barcolor value:rgb(0.95,0.5,0.4) id:line value:black id:bg value:white
width:15 textcolor:black shift:(5,-5) anchor:from fontsize:s
bar:1 color:barcolor from:08/01/1936 till:12/06/1936 text:Buffalo Bisons (1936) bar:2 color:barcolor from:08/01/1936 till:05/01/1973 text:Cleveland Falcons/Barons (1936-73) bar:2 color:barcolor from:08/01/1973 till:05/01/1974 shift:-80 text:Jacksonville (73-74) bar:2 color:barcolor from:08/01/1974 till:05/01/1975 text:Syracuse Eagles (1974-75) bar:3 color:barcolor from:08/01/1936 till:05/01/1943 text:New Haven Eagles/Ramblers (1936-43, 1945-51) bar:3 color:barcolor from:08/01/1945 till:05/01/1951 bar:4 color:barcolor from:08/01/1936 till:05/01/1942 text:Philadelphia Ramblers/Rockets (1936-42) bar:5 color:barcolor from:08/01/1936 till:05/01/1956 text:Pittsburgh Hornets (1936-56, 1961-67) bar:5 color:barcolor from:08/01/1961 till:05/01/1967 bar:6 color:barcolor from:08/01/1936 till:05/01/1977 text:Providence/Rhode Island Reds (1936-77) bar:6 color:barcolor from:08/01/1977 till:05/01/1997 text:Binghamton Dusters/Whalers/Rangers (1977-97) bar:6 color:red from:08/01/1997 till:end text:Hartford Wolf Pack/Connecticut Whale (1997-) bar:7 color:barcolor from:08/01/1936 till:05/01/1942 text:Springfield Indians (36-42, 46-51) bar:7 color:barcolor from:08/01/1946 till:05/01/1951 bar:7 color:barcolor from:08/01/1951 till:05/01/1954 shift:-10 text:Syracuse(51-54) bar:7 color:barcolor from:08/01/1954 till:05/01/1994 shift:40 text:Springfield Indians/Kings (1954-94) bar:7 color:barcolor from:08/01/1994 till:05/01/2005 text:Worcester IceCats(94-05) bar:7 color:barcolor from:08/01/2005 till:05/01/2013 text:Peoria(05-13) bar:7 color:red from:08/01/2013 till:end text:Utica Comets (2013-) bar:8 color:barcolor from:08/01/1936 till:05/01/1940 text:Syracuse (36-40) bar:8 color:barcolor from:08/01/1940 till:05/01/1970 shift:40 text:Buffalo Bisons (1940-70) bar:9 color:red from:08/01/1938 till:end text:Hershey Bears (1938-) bar:10 color:barcolor from:08/01/1939 till:05/01/1952 text:Indianapolis Capitals (1939-52) bar:11 color:barcolor from:08/01/1941 till:05/01/1943 shift:-30 text:Wash. Lions (41-43, 47-49) bar:11 color:barcolor from:08/01/1947 till:05/01/1949 bar:11 color:barcolor from:08/01/1949 till:05/01/1952 shift:10 text:Cincinnati Mohowks (1949-52) bar:12 color:barcolor from:08/01/1944 till:05/01/1953 text:St. Louis Flyers (1944-53) bar:13 color:barcolor from:08/01/1946 till:05/01/1949 text:Philadelphia Rockets (1946-49) bar:14 color:red from:08/01/1956 till:end text:Rochester Americans (1956-) bar:15 color:barcolor from:08/01/1959 till:05/01/1971 text:Quebec Aces (1959-71) bar:15 color:barcolor from:08/01/1971 till:05/01/1976 text:Richmond Robins (1971-76) bar:16 color:barcolor from:08/01/1962 till:05/01/1976 text:Baltimore Clippers (1962-76) bar:17 color:barcolor from:08/01/1969 till:05/01/1971 shift:-35 text:Montreal(69-71) bar:17 color:barcolor from:08/01/1971 till:05/01/1984 shift:20 text:Nova Scotia(71-84) bar:17 color:barcolor from:08/01/1984 till:05/01/1990 shift:-12 text:Sherbrooke(84-90) bar:17 color:barcolor from:08/01/1990 till:05/01/1999 text:Fredericton(90-99) bar:17 color:barcolor from:08/01/1999 till:05/01/2002 shift:-12 text:Que.(99-02) bar:17 color:red from:08/01/2002 till:05/01/2015 shift:10 text:Hamilton Bulldogs (2002-15) bar:17 color:green from:08/01/2015 till:end shift:0 text:St. John's (2015-) bar:18 color:barcolor from:08/01/1971 till:05/01/1974 text:Boston Braves (1971-74) bar:18 color:barcolor from:08/01/1987 till:05/01/1994 text:Moncton Hawks (1987-94) bar:19 color:barcolor from:08/01/1971 till:05/01/1974 text:Cincinnati Swords (1971-74) bar:20 color:barcolor from:08/01/1971 till:05/01/1975 shift:-55 text:Tidewater/Virginia Wings(71-75) bar:20 color:barcolor from:08/01/1979 till:05/01/1999 text:Adirondack Red Wings (1979-99) bar:20 color:red from:08/01/2002 till:end text:San Antonio Rampage (2002-) bar:21 color:barcolor from:08/01/1972 till:05/01/1993 text:New Haven Nighthawks/Senators (1972-93) bar:21 color:barcolor from:08/01/1993 till:05/01/1996 text:PEI Senators(93-96) bar:21 color:red from:08/01/2002 till:end shift:10 text:Binghamton Senators (2002-) bar:23 color:barcolor from:08/01/1977 till:02/10/1978 text:Hampton Gulls (1977-78) bar:24 color:barcolor from:08/01/1977 till:05/01/1987 shift:-35 text:Maine Mariners (1977-92) bar:24 color:barcolor from:08/01/1987 till:05/01/1993 shift:-25 text:Utica Devils(87-93) bar:24 color:barcolor from:08/01/1993 till:05/01/2003 text:Saint John (1993-03) bar:24 color:barcolor from:08/01/2005 till:05/01/2007 shift:-23 text:Omaha bar:24 color:barcolor from:08/01/2007 till:05/01/2009 shift:-5 text:Q.C. bar:24 color:barcolor from:08/01/2009 till:05/01/2014 shift:-5 text:Abbotsford bar:24 color:red from:08/01/2014 till:05/01/2015 shift:-10 text:Adirondack bar:24 color:green from:08/01/2015 till:end shift:30 text:Stockton(2015-) bar:25 color:barcolor from:08/01/1977 till:05/01/1979 shift:-65 text:Philadelphia(77-79) bar:25 color:barcolor from:08/01/1979 till:05/01/1980 text:Syracuse Firebirds (1979-80) bar:26 color:barcolor from:08/01/1978 till:05/01/1982 shift:-155 text:New Brunswick Hawks (78-82) bar:26 color:barcolor from:08/01/1982 till:05/01/1986 shift:-61 text:St. Catharines (82-86) bar:26 color:barcolor from:08/01/1986 till:05/01/1991 shift:-5 text:Newmarket (86-91) bar:26 color:barcolor from:08/01/1991 till:05/01/2005 shift:25 text:St. John's Maple Leafs (1991-2005) bar:26 color:red from:08/01/2005 till:end shift:30 text:Toronto Marlies (2005-) bar:27 color:barcolor from:08/01/1981 till:05/01/1982 shift:-65 text:Erie Blades (81-82) bar:27 color:barcolor from:08/01/1982 till:05/01/1993 shift:15 text:Baltimore Skipjacks (82-93) bar:27 color:red from:08/01/1993 till:end shift:15 text:Portland Pirates (1993-) bar:28 color:barcolor from:08/01/1981 till:05/01/1988 shift:-55 text:Fredericton Express (81-88) bar:28 color:barcolor from:08/01/1988 till:05/01/1993 shift:-5 text:Halifax (88-93) bar:28 color:barcolor from:08/01/1993 till:05/01/1996 text:Cornwall (93-96) bar:28 color:red from:08/01/1999 till:end shift:10 text:Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (1999-) bar:29 color:barcolor from:08/01/1982 till:05/01/1984 text:Sherbrooke Jets (1982-84) bar:30 color:barcolor from:08/01/1982 till:05/01/1987 text:Moncton Alpines/Golden Flames (1982-87) bar:31 color:barcolor from:08/01/1984 till:05/01/1988 shift:-48 text:Nova Scotia (84-88) bar:31 color:barcolor from:08/01/1988 till:05/01/1996 shift:-5 text:Cape Breton (88-96) bar:31 color:red from:08/01/1996 till:05/01/2003 text:Ham. (96-03) bar:31 color:barcolor from:08/01/2003 till:05/01/2004 shift:-3 text:Tor. bar:31 color:barcolor from:08/01/2004 till:05/01/2005 text:Edm. bar:31 color:red from:08/01/2010 till:05/01/2015 shift:-5 text:OKC (10-15) bar:31 color:green from:08/01/2015 till:end text:Bakersfield(2015-) bar:32 color:barcolor from:08/01/1987 till:05/01/1992 shift:-45 text:Maine Mariners (1987-92) bar:32 color:red from:08/01/1992 till:end shift:20 text:Providence Bruins (1992-) bar:33 color:barcolor from:08/01/1990 till:05/01/1993 shift:-65 text:C.D. Islanders(90-93) bar:33 color:barcolor from:08/01/1993 till:05/01/2010 text:Albany River Rats(93-10) bar:33 color:red from:08/01/2010 till:end shift:-20 text:Charlotte Checkers (2010-) bar:34 color:barcolor from:08/01/1992 till:05/01/1994 shift:-65 text:Hamilton Canucks(92-94) bar:34 color:red from:08/01/1994 till:end shift:35 text:Syracuse Crunch (1994-) bar:35 color:red from:08/01/1994 till:end text:Springfield Falcons (1994-) bar:36 color:barcolor from:08/01/1995 till:05/01/1997 shift:-60 text:Baltimore (95-97) bar:36 color:barcolor from:08/01/1997 till:05/01/2005 text:Cincinnati (97-05) bar:36 color:red from:08/01/2007 till:end text:Rockford Ice Hogs (2007-) bar:37 color:barcolor from:08/01/1995 till:05/01/1997 shift:-55 text:Carolina(1995-97) bar:37 color:barcolor from:08/01/1997 till:05/01/1999 text:Beast of New Haven (1997-99) bar:38 color:barcolor from:08/01/1996 till:05/01/2009 text:Philadelphia(96-09) bar:38 color:barcolor from:08/01/2009 till:05/01/2014 shift:-45 text:Adirondack(09-14) bar:38 color:red from:08/01/2014 till:end shift:-10 text:Lehigh Valley Phantoms (2014-) bar:39 color:barcolor from:08/01/1996 till:05/01/2001 shift:-40 text:Kentucky(96-01) bar:39 color:barcolor from:08/01/2001 till:05/01/2006 shift:-20 text:Cleveland(01-06) bar:39 color:red from:08/01/2006 till:05/01/2015 shift:5 text:Worcester(2006-15) bar:39 color:green from:08/01/2015 till:end shift:0 text:San Jose(2015-) bar:40 color:barcolor from:08/01/1998 till:05/01/2010 text:Lowell (1998-2010) bar:40 color:red from:08/01/2010 till:end shift:0 text:Albany Devils (2010-) bar:41 color:barcolor from:08/01/1999 till:05/01/2001 shift:-60 text:Louisville Panthers(99-01) bar:41 color:barcolor from:08/01/2005 till:05/01/2009 shift:-10 text:Iowa(05-09) bar:41 color:red from:08/01/2009 till:end shift:0 text:Texas Stars (2009-) bar:42 color:red from:08/01/2000 till:05/01/2015 text:Norfolk Admirals (2000-15) bar:42 color:green from:08/01/2015 till:end shift:-5 text:San Diego Gulls(2015-) bar:43 color:red from:08/01/2001 till:end text:Bridgeport Sound Tigers (2001-) bar:44 color:red from:08/01/2001 till:end text:Chicago Wolves (2001-) bar:45 color:red from:08/01/2001 till:end text:Grand Rapids Griffins (2001-) bar:46 color:barcolor from:08/01/2001 till:05/01/2013 text:Houston Aeros (2001-13) bar:46 color:red from:08/01/2013 till:end shift:0 text:Iowa Wild (2013-) bar:47 color:red from:08/01/2001 till:05/01/2015 text:Manchester Monarchs (2001-) bar:47 color:green from:08/01/2015 till:end shift:-5 text:Ontario Reign(2015-) bar:48 color:red from:08/01/2001 till:end text:Milwaukee Admirals (2001-) bar:49 color:barcolor from:08/01/2001 till:05/01/2011 shift:-27 text:Manitoba Moose (2001-11) bar:49 color:red from:08/01/2011 till:05/01/2015 shift:-1 text:St. John's bar:49 color:green from:08/01/2015 till:end text:Manitoba (2015-) bar:50 color:barcolor from:08/01/2001 till:05/01/2005 shift:-50 text:Utah Grizzlies (2001-05) bar:50 color:red from:08/01/2007 till:end shift:0 text:Lake Erie Monsters (2007-)
ScaleMajor = gridcolor:line unit:year increment:5 start:01/01/1936
AHL teams of the past and present
- Buffalo Bisons(1) (1936; folded)
- Cleveland Falcons (1936–37; renamed the Cleveland Barons)
- New Haven Eagles (1936–43; folded during World War II resurrected 1945)
- Philadelphia Ramblers (1936–41, renamed Philadelphia Rockets)
- Pittsburgh Hornets (1936–56; went on hiatus to wait for new arena, returned 1961)
- Providence Reds (1936–76; renamed Rhode Island Reds)
- Springfield Indians (1936–42; suspended during World War II; returned 1946)
- Syracuse Stars (1936–40; became Buffalo Bisons)
- Cleveland Barons (1937–1973; became Jacksonville Barons)
- Hershey Bears (1938–present)
- Indianapolis Capitals (1939–52; folded)
- Buffalo Bisons(2) (1940–70; folded)
- Philadelphia Rockets (1941–42) folded
- Washington Lions (1941–43; folded)
- St. Louis Flyers (1944–53; folded)
- New Haven Eagles (1945–46, renamed New Haven Ramblers)
- Springfield Indians (1946–51; became Syracuse Warriors)
- Philadelphia Rockets (1946–49; folded)
- New Haven Ramblers (1946–50, renamed New Haven Eagles)
- Washington Lions (1947–49; became Cincinnati Mohawks)
- Cincinnati Mohawks (1949–52; transferred to IHL)
- New Haven Eagles (1950–51, folded)
- Syracuse Warriors (1951–54; became Springfield Indians)
- Springfield Indians (1954–67; renamed Springfield Kings)
- Rochester Americans (1956–present)
- Quebec Aces (1959–71; became Richmond Robins)
- Pittsburgh Hornets (1961–67; folded)
- Baltimore Clippers (1962–76; folded)
- Springfield Kings (1967–74; renamed Springfield Indians)
- Montreal Voyageurs (1969–71; became Nova Scotia Voyageurs)
- Nova Scotia Voyageurs (1971–84; became Sherbrooke Canadiens)
- Boston Braves (1971–74; suspended, became Moncton Hawks)
- Cincinnati Swords (1971–74; folded)
- Richmond Robins (1971–76; folded)
- Tidewater Wings (1971–72; played in Norfolk; renamed Virginia Wings)
- Virginia Wings (1972–75; played in Norfolk; became Adirondack Red Wings)
- Jacksonville Barons (1973–74; folded, franchise purchased and became Syracuse Eagles)
- New Haven Nighthawks (1972–92; became New Haven Senators)
- Springfield Indians (1974–94; became Worcester IceCats)
- Syracuse Eagles (1974–75; folded)
- Rhode Island Reds (1976–77; became Binghamton Dusters)
- Hampton Gulls (1977–78; folded midseason)
- Binghamton Dusters (1977–80; renamed Binghamton Whalers)
- Maine Mariners (1977–92; original franchise became Utica Devils; expansion franchise became Providence Bruins)
- Philadelphia Firebirds (1977–79; became Syracuse Firebirds)
- New Brunswick Hawks (1978–82; became St. Catharines Saints)
- Adirondack Red Wings (1979–99; folded)
- Syracuse Firebirds (1979–80; folded)
- Binghamton Whalers (1980–90; renamed Binghamton Rangers)
- Erie Blades (1981–82; merged into Baltimore Skipjacks)
- Fredericton Express (1981–88; became Halifax Citadels)
- Baltimore Skipjacks (1982–93; became Portland Pirates)
- Moncton Alpines (1982–84; renamed Moncton Golden Flames)
- Sherbrooke Jets (1982–84; folded)
- St. Catharines Saints (1982–86; became Newmarket Saints)
- Nova Scotia Oilers (1984–88; became Cape Breton Oilers)
- Sherbrooke Canadiens (1984–90; became Fredericton Canadiens)
- Moncton Golden Flames (1984–87; folded)
- Newmarket Saints (1986–91; became St. John's Maple Leafs)
- Moncton Hawks (1987–94; folded)
- Utica Devils (1987–93; became Saint John Flames)
- Cape Breton Oilers (1988–96; became Hamilton Bulldogs)
- Halifax Citadels (1988–93; became Cornwall Aces)
- Binghamton Rangers (1990–97; became Hartford Wolf Pack)
- Capital District Islanders (1990–93; became Albany River Rats)
- Fredericton Canadiens (1990–99; became Quebec Citadelles)
- St. John's Maple Leafs (1991–2005; became Toronto Marlies)
- Providence Bruins (1992–present)
- Hamilton Canucks (1992–94; became Syracuse Crunch)
- New Haven Senators (1992–93; became Prince Edward Island Senators)
- Albany River Rats (1993–2010; became Charlotte Checkers)
- Portland Pirates (1993–present)
- Prince Edward Island Senators (1993–96; became Binghamton Senators)
- Saint John Flames (1993–2003; became Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights)
- Cornwall Aces (1993–96; became Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins)
- Springfield Falcons (1994–present)
- Syracuse Crunch (1994–present)
- Worcester IceCats (1994–2005; became Peoria Rivermen)
- Baltimore Bandits (1995–97; became Cincinnati Mighty Ducks)
- Carolina Monarchs (1995–97; became Beast of New Haven)
- Philadelphia Phantoms (1996–2009; became Adirondack Phantoms)
- Hamilton Bulldogs (1996–2015; will become the St. John's IceCaps in 2015)
- Kentucky Thoroughblades (1996–2001; became Cleveland Barons)
- Cincinnati Mighty Ducks (1997–2005; became Rockford IceHogs)
- Beast of New Haven (1997–99; folded)
- Hartford Wolf Pack (1997–2010; became Connecticut Whale, 2013–present)
- Lowell Lock Monsters (1998–2006; became Lowell Devils)
- Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (1999–present)
- Louisville Panthers (1999–2001; became Iowa Stars)
- Quebec Citadelles (1999–2002; merged with Hamilton Bulldogs)
- Norfolk Admirals (2000–2015; will become the San Diego Gulls)
- Bridgeport Sound Tigers (2001–present)
- Chicago Wolves (2001–present)
- Grand Rapids Griffins (2001–present)
- Houston Aeros (2001–2013; became Iowa Wild)
- Manchester Monarchs (2001-2015; will become the Ontario Reign)
- Milwaukee Admirals (2001–present)
- Cleveland Barons (2001–06; became Worcester Sharks)
- Manitoba Moose (2001–11, 2015–; were the St. John's IceCaps from 2011–2015)
- Utah Grizzlies (2001–05; became Lake Erie Monsters)
- Binghamton Senators (2002–present)
- San Antonio Rampage (2002–present)
- Toronto Roadrunners (2003–04; split from Hamilton Bulldogs, became Edmonton Road Runners)
- Edmonton Road Runners (2004–05; dormant 2005–2010, became Oklahoma City Barons)
- Iowa Stars (2005–08; became Iowa Chops)
- Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights (2005–07; became Quad City Flames)
- Peoria Rivermen (2005–13; became Utica Comets)
- Toronto Marlies (2005–present)
- Lowell Devils (2006–10; became Albany Devils)
- Worcester Sharks (2006–2015; will become the San Jose Barracuda)
- Lake Erie Monsters (2007–present)
- Quad City Flames (2007–09; became Abbotsford Heat)
- Rockford IceHogs (2007–present)
- Iowa Chops (2008–09; became Texas Stars)
- Adirondack Phantoms (2009–14; became Lehigh Valley Phantoms)
- Texas Stars (2009–present)
- Abbotsford Heat (2009–14; became Adirondack Flames)
- Albany Devils (2010–present)
- Charlotte Checkers (2010–present)
- Oklahoma City Barons (2010–2015; will become the Bakersfield Condors)
- Connecticut Whale (2010–13; reverted back to Hartford Wolf Pack)
- St. John's IceCaps (2011–present; original franchise will become the Manitoba Moose in 2015)
- Iowa Wild (2013–present)
- Utica Comets (2013–present)
- Adirondack Flames (2014–2015; will become the Stockton Heat)
- Lehigh Valley Phantoms (2014–present)
- Bakersfield Condors (2015-)
- Ontario Reign (2015-)
- San Diego Gulls (2015-)
- San Jose Barracuda (2015-)
- Stockton Heat (2015-)
AHL All-Star Game
The American Hockey League first held an All-Star Game in the 1941–42 season. The event was not played again until the 1954–55 season, and was then held annually until the 1959–60 season. In the 1994–95 season, the AHL revived the events again, and has been played every season since. The skills competition was first introduced for the 1995–96 season. The PlanetUSA team is made up of players born outside of Canada and the Canada team is made up of players born within Canada.
|February 1, 2016||Onondaga War Memorial||Syracuse, New York|
|January 26, 2015||Utica Memorial Auditorium||Utica, New York||West All-Stars||14||East All-Stars||12|
|February 12, 2014||Mile One Centre||St. John's, NL||AHL All-Stars||7||Färjestad BK||2|
|January 28, 2013||Dunkin' Donuts Center||Providence, Rhode Island||West All-Stars||7||East All-Stars||6|
|January 30, 2012||Boardwalk Hall||Atlantic City, New Jersey||West All-Stars||8||East All-Stars||7 (SO)|
|January 31, 2011||Giant Center||Hershey, Pennsylvania||East All-Stars||11||West All-Stars||8|
|January 19, 2010||Cumberland County Civic Center||Portland, Maine||Canada||10||PlanetUSA||9 (SO)|
|January 26, 2009||DCU Center||Worcester, Massachusetts||PlanetUSA||14||Canada||11|
|January 28, 2008||Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena||Binghamton, New York||Canada||9||PlanetUSA||8 (SO)|
|January 29, 2007||Ricoh Coliseum||Toronto, ON||PlanetUSA||7||Canada||6|
|February 1, 2006||MTS Centre||Winnipeg, MB||Canada||9||PlanetUSA||4|
|February 14, 2005||Verizon Wireless Arena||Manchester, New Hampshire||PlanetUSA||5||Canada||4 (SO)|
|February 9, 2004||Van Andel Arena||Grand Rapids, Michigan||Canada||9||PlanetUSA||5|
|February 3, 2003||Cumberland County Civic Center||Portland, Maine||Canada||10||PlanetUSA||7|
|February 14, 2002||Mile One Stadium||St. John's, NF||Canada||13||PlanetUSA||11|
|January 15, 2001||First Union Arena at Casey Plaza||Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania||Canada||11||PlanetUSA||10|
|January 17, 2000||Blue Cross Arena||Rochester, New York||Canada||8||PlanetUSA||3|
|January 25, 1999||First Union Center||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||PlanetUSA||5||Canada||4 (OT/SO)|
|February 11, 1998||Onondaga War Memorial||Syracuse, New York||Canada||11||PlanetUSA||10|
|January 16, 1997||Harbour Station||Saint John, NB||World||3||Canada||2 (OT/SO)|
|January 16, 1996||Hersheypark Arena||Hershey, Pennsylvania||USA||6||Canada||5|
|January 17, 1995||Providence Civic Center||Providence, Rhode Island||Canada||6||USA||4|
|December 10, 1959||Eastern States Coliseum||West Springfield, Massachusetts||Springfield Indians||8||AHL All-Stars||3|
|January 15, 1959||Hershey Sports Arena||Hershey, Pennsylvania||Hershey Bears||5||AHL All-Stars||2|
|October 6, 1957||Rochester Community War Memorial||Rochester, New York||AHL All-Stars||5||Cleveland Barons||2|
|October 23, 1956||Rhode Island Auditorium||Providence, Rhode Island||Providence Reds||4||AHL All-Stars||0|
|January 10, 1956||Duquesne Gardens||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania||AHL All-Stars||4||Pittsburgh Hornets||4|
|October 27, 1954||Hershey Sports Arena||Hershey, Pennsylvania||AHL All-Stars||7||Cleveland Barons||3|
|February 3, 1942||Cleveland Arena||Cleveland, Ohio||East All-Stars||5||West All-Stars||4|
AHL Outdoor Games
Since the 2009–10 season, at least one team in the AHL has hosted an outdoor ice hockey game each year. The Syracuse Crunch was the first organization to put on an outdoor game in the AHL on February 20, 2010, building a rink at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, New York, and packing a record 21,508 fans in for the Mirabito Outdoor Classic against the Binghamton Senators. The contest, which was also televised to an international audience on NHL Network, was won by the Crunch, 2-1.
The Connecticut Whale hosted the Whale Bowl—the AHL's second outdoor game—on February 19, 2011, as part of a 10-day Whalers Hockey Fest at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn. Attendance for Connecticut's game against the Providence Bruins was announced at 21,673, the largest in AHL history to that point. Providence won, 5-4, in a shootout.
On January 6, 2012, the largest crowd in AHL history saw the Adirondack Phantoms defeat the Hershey Bears, 4-3, in overtime before 45,653 fans at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as the final event of the week-long activities associated with the 2012 NHL Winter Classic, which also included a game between the Philadelphia Flyers and the New York Rangers on Jan 2 and an alumni game between retired players (including eight honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame) of those two clubs on December 31, 2011. The contest was the third outdoor game in AHL history and it more than doubled the league's previous single-game attendance mark.
On January 21, 2012, the Steeltown Showdown between Ontario rivals the Toronto Marlies and Hamilton Bulldogs was held at Ivor Wynne Stadium in Hamilton, Ont., with the Marlies winning 7-2 in front of 20,565 fans, the largest crowd ever for an AHL game in Canada. The AHL game was preceded the previous night by a game between Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens alumni.
Two outdoor games were announced for the 2012-13 AHL season, but a meeting between the Grand Rapids Griffins and Toronto Marlies at Comerica Park in Detroit as part of the festivities surrounding the NHL Winter Classic was not held because of the cancellation of the NHL Winter Classic. On January 20, 2013, the Hershey Bears and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins met outdoors at Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey, Pa. The Penguins earned a 2-1 overtime victory in front of 17,311 fans.
The Rochester Americans hosted an outdoor game in 2013-14, the Frozen Frontier, which was held at Frontier Field in Rochester on December 13, 2013. The Americans took a 5-4 decision in a shootout against the Lake Erie Monsters before a standing-room crowd of 11,015 fans. A year after their originally scheduled date, the Griffins and Marlies played at Comerica Park on December 30, 2013, and Toronto prevailed in a shootout, 4-3, becoming the first AHL team ever with two outdoor wins. Attendance in Detroit was 20,337.
AHL Hall of Fame
The formation of an American Hockey League Hall of Fame was announced by the league on December 15, 2005, created to recognize, honor and celebrate individuals for their outstanding achievements and contributions specifically in the AHL.
On January 5, 2006, the league announced that Johnny Bower, Jack Butterfield, Jody Gage, Fred Glover, Willie Marshall, Frank Mathers and Eddie Shore had been selected as the inaugural class of inductees. They were formally inducted in a ceremony in Winnipeg, Manitoba on February 1, 2006.
Each year, a new class of inductees is enshrined during the AHL's All-Star Classic. Following the 2014 ceremony, the AHL Hall of Fame's membership stands at 38.
Trophies and awards
The following is a list of awards of the American Hockey League.
- Les Cunningham Award - Most valuable player (1947–48)
- John B. Sollenberger Trophy - Top point scorer (1947–48)
- Willie Marshall Award - Top goal scorer (2003–04)
- Dudley "Red" Garrett Memorial Award - Rookie of the year (1947–48)
- Eddie Shore Award - Defenceman of the year (1958–59)
- Aldege "Baz" Bastien Memorial Award - Best Goaltender (1983–84)
- Harry "Hap" Holmes Memorial Award - Lowest Goals against average (1947–48)
- Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award - Coach of the year (1967–68)
- Fred T. Hunt Memorial Award - Sportsmanship / Perseverance (1977–78)
- Yanick Dupre Memorial Award - Community Service Award (1997–98)
- Jack A. Butterfield Trophy - MVP of the playoffs (1983–84)
- Calder Cup - Playoffs champions (1936–37)
- Richard F. Canning Trophy - Eastern Conference playoff champions (1989–90)
- Robert W. Clarke Trophy - Western Conference playoff champions (1989–90)
- Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy - Regular season champions, League (1997–98)
- Frank Mathers Trophy - Regular Season champions, Eastern Conference (1995–96)
- Norman R. "Bud" Poile Trophy - Regular Season champions, Western Conference (2001–02)
- Emile Francis Trophy - Regular Season champions, Atlantic Division (2001–02)
- F. G. "Teddy" Oke Trophy - Regular Season champions, East Division (1936–37)†
- Sam Pollock Trophy - Regular Season champions, North Division (1995–96)
- John D. Chick Trophy - Regular Season champions, West Division (1961–62)
† Trophy predates American Hockey League, established 1926–27 in the Canadian Professional Hockey League.
- James C. Hendy Memorial Award - Executive of the Year (1961–62)
- Thomas Ebright Memorial Award - Outstanding career contributions (1997–98)
- James H. Ellery Memorial Awards - Outstanding media coverage (1964–65)
- Ken McKenzie Award - Marketing Executive of the Year (1978–79)
- Michael Condon Memorial Award - Outstanding service, On-ice official (2001–02)
- President's Awards - two annual awards given out by the AHL. The first award is presented to an AHL organization and recognizes "excellence in all areas off the ice." The second is given to a player as recognition of outstanding accomplishments in that year (2008–09)
- American Hockey Association (1926–1942)
- List of AHL seasons
- Minor league
- Professional Hockey Players' Association, the collective bargaining union for AHL players
- Sports league attendances
- "Calder Cup Record Book", theahl.com
- Scott, Jon C. (2006). Hockey Night in Dixie: Minor Pro Hockey in the American South. Heritage House Publishing Company Ltd. p. xvii. ISBN 1-894974-21-2.
- "Hershey In Hockey League: Admitted to Circuit as American-International Loops Unite" The Philadelphia Record, June 29, 1938
- "AHL approves formation of Pacific Division". AHL. January 29, 2015.
- "Sharks, Barracuda Networks Agree to Revolutionary Multi-Year Presenting Partnership". San Jose Barracuda. April 2, 2015.
- "AHL announces franchise transactions". AHL. March 12, 2015.
- "St. John’s New Home for Montreal Canadiens’ AHL Team". St. John's IceCaps. March 12, 2015. Retrieved March 12, 2015.
- "Montreal Canadiens' farm team relocating to St. John’s next season". The Compass. March 12, 2015. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
- "Rampage, Panthers ink affiliation deal". theahl.com. Retrieved June 29, 2011.
- Scott, Jon C. (2006). Hockey Night in Dixie: Minor Pro Hockey in the American South. Heritage House Publishing Company Ltd. pp. 137–201. ISBN 1-894974-21-2.
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