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This is the 2015-16 American Hockey League season. This is the league's 80th season. Each of the league's 5 California based teams will play a 68 game schedule while the remaining 25 members will play a 76 game schedule.
The league approved the following rule changes (as well as the schedule and playoff format) at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the AHL Board of Governors in early July. These changes match the rule changes that were made at the NHL Board of Governors meeting in late June.
- The overtime period will be a five minute 3 on 3 sudden death period. There will be a dry scrape of the entire ice prior to the start of the overtime period and the teams will change ends at the start of the overtime. If the game is still tied a winner will be determined by a three player shoot out and if still tied sudden death shoot out. (Rule 85)
- The coaches are now able to use a "coach's challenge" to initiate an official video review but only on items that are by rule reviewable (potential offside on a goal and goaltender interference). The challenge must be issued prior to the resumption of play. The must have a time out available as if the review does not result in the original call being overturned the team will be charged with a time out. (Rule 79)
- For all face-offs (excluding center ice), the defending player shall place his stick on the ice first; for face-offs at center ice, the visiting player shall place his stick on the ice first. (Rule 76.4)
Major franchise shifts for 2015-16Edit
Late in January 2015 the league annouced the league's Board of Gevernors approved the formation of a Pacific Division for the 2015-16 season with the Norfolk Admirals being relocated to San Diego, California as the San Diego Gulls; the Manchester Monarchs being relocated to Ontario, California as the Ontario Reign the Worcester Sharks being relocated to San Jose, California as the San Jose Barracuda (playing out of the same arena as the San Jose Sharks, the Adirondack Flames being relocated to Stockton, California and become the Stockton Heat. The ownership of the Oklahoma City Barons announced previously that they were ceasing operations after losing their affiliation with the Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers purchased the Bakersfield Condors franchise in the ECHL and were making Bakersfield, California the home of their AHL affiliate as the Bakersfield Condors. In March, the Winnipeg Jets annouced the were relocating their AHL affilliate from St. John's, Newfoundland & Labrador to Winnipeg as the Manitoba Moose, and the Montreal Canadiens purchased the Hamilton Bulldogs franchise and relocated them to St. John's and assumed the St. John's IceCaps identity. Both of the moves are believed to be temporary as Winnipeg may be relocating their affiliation to Thunder Bay, Ontario if and when a new arena opens there and the Canadiens are waiting for an arena to open in Laval, Quebec to move their affiliate. The former owner of the Hamilton AHL franchise purchased the Belleville Bulls and will relocate the team to Hamilton asuming the Bulldogs identity.
Team Alignment for 2015-16 seasonEdit
On December 19th (rescheduled from December 18th due to rain) as part of the Golden State Hockey Rush, the Stockton Heat and the Bakersfield Condors met in an outdoor game at Raley Field in West Sacramento, California. Stockton won the game 3-2 in front of a crowd of 9,357. The Golden State Hockey Rush runs from November 20th to January 3rd.
2016 All Star ClassicEdit
|Bridgeport Sound Tigers||76||40||29||-||4||3||209||220||87||0.572|
|Hartford Wolf Pack||76||41||32||-||3||0||202||199||85||0.559|
|Lehigh Valley Phantoms||76||34||35||-||4||3||215||222||75||0.493|
|St. John's IceCaps||76||32||33||-||8||3||208||239||75||0.493|
|Lake Erie Monsters||76||43||22||-||6||5||211||188||97||0.638|
|Grand Rapids Griffins||76||44||30||-||1||1||238||195||90||0.592|
|San Diego Gulls||68||39||23||-||4||2||208||200||84||0.618|
|San Jose Barracuda||68||31||26||-||8||3||198||193||73||0.537|
|San Antonio Rampage||76||33||35||-||8||0||213||240||74||0.487|
note: due to the California based teams only playing 68 games this season; all standings were calculated on point percentage which is points earned divided by twice the number of games played (or available points)
2016 Calder Cup PlayoffsEdit
For more detailed information please see 2016 Calder Cup playoffs
Due to the realignment of the league the playoff format was changed:
- The playoff format is now a division based format with the top four teams in each division qualifying for the playoffs with one exception if the fifth place team in one division has a better points percentage than the fourth place team in the other division within the conference they will assume the fouth place team's place in the other division's bracket. (note: this is not the same as the NHL's format for this season)
- The division semi-final round is best-of-five with the division final, conference final and Calder Cup final rounds all being best-of-seven.
|Division Semi-finals||Division Finals||Conference Finals||Calder Cup Final|
|WC||Bridgeport Sound Tigers||0|
|C2||Lake Erie Monsters||4|
|C4||Grand Rapids Griffins||3|
|C4||Grand Rapids Griffins||2|
|C2||Lake Erie Monsters||4|
|C2||Lake Erie Monsters||3|
|C2||Lake Erie Monsters||4|
|P4||San Jose Barracuda||1|
|P2||San Diego Gulls||1|
|P2||San Diego Gulls||3|
Atlantic Division SemifinalsEdit
- Hershey Bears defeated Portland Pirates 3 games to 2 (4-6, 3-1, 1-2 (3ot), 2-0, 2-1)
- Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins defeated Providence Bruins 3 games to none (3-2 (ot), 4-3 (ot), 5-4 (ot))
North Division SemifinalsEdit
- Toronto Marlies defeated Bridgeport Sound Tigers 3 games to none (4-1, 3-0, 6-4)
- Albany Devils defeated Utica Comets 3 games to 1 (3-2, 5-1, 1-2 (ot), 6-3)
Central Division SemfinalsEdit
- Grand Rapids Griffins defeated Milwaukee Admirals 3 games to none (3-1, 2-1, 4-1)
- Lake Erie Monsters defeated Rockford IceHogs 3 games to none (5-2, 5-1, 5-3)
Pacific Division SemifinalsEdit
- Ontario Reign defeated San Jose Barracuda 3 games to 1 (2-1, 2-3, 3-1, 4-1)
- San Diego Gulls defeated Texas Stars 3 games to 1 (3-1, 1-5, 6-1, 6-1)
Atlantic Division FinalEdit
- Hershey Bears defeated Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 4 games to 3 (0-4, 2-0, 5-2, 1-2 (ot), 5-3, 2-6, 3-2 (ot))
North Division FinalEdit
Central Division FinalEdit
- Lake Erie Monsters defeated Grand Rapids Griffins 4 games to 2 (3-2 (ot), 4-3, 2-1, 4-5, 1-6, 4-3 (ot))