The American Hockey
League announced today that its Board of Governors has approved a schedule
modification plan beginning with the 2011-12 season.
Under the plan, the regular-season playing schedule will be reduced to 76
games; the AHL playing calendar will be extended by one week; all sequences in
which teams play four games in five nights will be eliminated; and the first
round of the Calder Cup Playoffs will be reduced to a best-of-five series.
“As our league has grown in recent years, we have been working closely with the
National Hockey League and the Professional Hockey Players’ Association to seek
a solution to what has become a very onerous playing schedule,” said David
Andrews, President and CEO of the American Hockey League. “As our league
has grown and our game has become faster and more physical, the wear and tear
on our players has begun to affect player development and at times the quality
of competition. These steps are intended to provide a safer environment for our
players through increased rest and recovery time, and also to provide our fans
with an even higher caliber of play as a result of reduced player fatigue.”
David Andrews' letter to AHL fans here
Celebrating its historic 75th anniversary season in 2010-11, the American
Hockey League continues to serve as the top development league for all 30
National Hockey League teams, with more than 85 percent of today’s NHL players
and 22 of 30 NHL head coaches having graduated from the AHL. Through the years,
the American Hockey League has been home to more than 100 honored members of
the Hockey Hall of Fame.