American League Finalizes New Divisions for 2015-16

All the shuffling and franchise moves are now complete, and things look a lot more clear for the 2015-16 American Hockey League season.

And now we know which teams will be joining the new Calgary Flames’ affiliate, the Stockton Heat, in the AHL’s Pacific Division.

Pacific Division
(Western Conference)
Bakersfield Condors Edmonton
Ontario Reign Los Angeles
San Antonio Rampage Colorado
San Diego Gulls Anaheim
San Jose Barracuda San Jose
Stockton Heat Calgary
Texas Stars Dallas
Central Division
(
Western Conference)
Charlotte Checkers Carolina
Chicago Wolves St. Louis
Grand Rapids Griffins Detroit
Iowa Wild Minnesota
Lake Erie Monsters Columbus
Manitoba Moose Winnipeg
Milwaukee Admirals Nashville
Rockford Ice Hogs Chicago
North Division
(Eastern Conference)
Albany Devils New Jersey
Binghamton Senators Ottawa
Rochester Americans Buffalo
St. John’s Ice Caps Montreal
Syracuse Crunch Tampa Bay
Toronto Marlies Toronto
Utica Comets Vancouver
Atlantic Division
(Eastern Conference)
Bridgeport Sound Tigers NY Islanders
Hartford Wolf Pack NY Rangers
Hershey Bears Washington
Lehigh Valley Phantoms Philadelphia
Portland Pirates Florida
Providence Bruins Boston
Springfield Falcons Arizona
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Pittsburgh

SO, WHAT CHANGED?

Here’s a brief summary of a wooly few months of moves and affiliation swaps.

  • Edmonton’s AHL team in Oklahoma City moved to Bakersfield (the previous ECHL team moved to Norfolk)
  • Calgary’s AHL team in Adirondack moved to Stockton (the previous ECHL team moved to Adirondack)
  • Los Angeles’ AHL team in Manchester moved to Ontario (the previous ECHL team moved to Manchester)
  • Anaheim’s AHL team in Norfolk moved to San Diego
  • San Jose’s AHL team in Worcester moved to San Jose
  • Winnipeg’s AHL team in St. John’s moved to Winnipeg (Manitoba)
  • Montreal’s AHL team in Hamilton moved to St. John’s
  • Colorado changed affiliates from Lake Erie to San Antonio
  • Columbus changed affiliates from Springfield to Lake Erie
  • Florida changed affiliates from San Antonio to Springfield

So yes, a third of the AHL will have new teams in new markets in 2015-16. Fun, eh?

The league schedule and playoff format are expected to be available later in the summer.

  • mk

    What a crazy league – I can’t image trying to work there in any capacity. The best players & coaches are unlikely to stick around for long (they graduate to NHL), the teams often jump around, etc. All over the place all the time. 🙂

    I miss my Heat in Abbotsford. If it weren’t so damn far on the highway, I would’ve gone to more games too.

    • SydScout

      My first thought too. Thank you for clarifying.

      Stockton is surrounded by places such as Tracy, Dogtown, Galt and the wonderfully named Carbona. How can it not be a success?

  • gotommygo

    Wow, I knew about the new California teams but I didn’t know about all the other shuffling around. So no team in Hamilton now? Are they expecting an NHL team soon? Better talk to Bettman first…

  • MonsterPod

    I’ve been to Stockton a few times. It’s shady as f…

    It was the biggest city to declare bankruptcy in the States before Detroit fell apart. Crime is rampant. Always in the news here in LA for bad reasons. Call 911 and nobody comes.

    I’m actually a bit surprised the Flames agreed to this. I think the other Pacific teams knew more about the state of the city and slid it to us.

    Ontario here is just an area east of LA, part of the greater LA area.

    • prendrefeu

      Ontario here is just an area east of LA, part of the greater LA area.

      Ontario is in the IE, dude. The entire Inland Empire is a dump. That county (San Bernardino) is a dump. Don’t even get me started on Orange County.

      Please do not associate it with Los Angeles – either city nor county. It is not only not close to Los Angeles proper, it is in another county, a completely different geography, and a completely different genre of population.

      Stockton is a sh*thole though, always has been since it was founded. I wrote a little rant about it here on FN when Stockton was confirmed as the location for the AHL team.

  • RexLibris

    The Oilers had their ECHL team in Stockton for a year or two. It didn’t go well, to the point that some players were seeking alternative arrangements because the environment was less than ideal.

    I’d hope the city has improved since then for the sake of those living there.

    I’d guess the Flames start in Stockton and then work to move the affiliate to another West Coast location as quickly as possible.