The AHL has recently had some changes to their set up for the division layout as well as the Calder Cup playoffs.
While the Hersey Bears will not move in the division, changes from last season will include: Calgary’s affiliate relocating from Abbotsford, B.C., to Glens Falls, N.Y., and playing in the North Division, Philadelphia’s affiliate relocating from Glens Falls, N.Y. to Allentown, Pa., and playing in the East Division, Syracuse moving from the East Division to the Northeast Division, Lake Erie moving from the North Division to the Midwest Division and Iowa moving from the Midwest Division to the West Division.
As for the playoffs; the proposal has been approved for the 2015 Calder Cup playoffs and will be played as it was in 2014. There will be 8 teams that qualify for each conference with the top three reserved for the winners of each division. Five more teams will be added based on points from the regular season. Conference Quarter Final will be a best of 5 series and the Semifinals, Conference Finals and Calder Cup Finals will be best of 7 series. At the end of each round, the teams will be reordered so that the top ranked team will play the lowest ranked team.
Additional changes include penalties. The following rule changes have been applied for the2014-15 season:
Rule 85 (“Overtime”)
- During the regular season, the sudden-death overtime period will be seven minutes (7:00) in length, preceded by a “dry scrape” of the entire ice surface.
- Teams will change ends at the start of overtime.
- Full playing strength will be 4-on-4 until the first whistle following three minutes of play (4:00 remaining), at which time full strength will be reduced to 3-on-3 for the duration of the overtime period.
- If the game is still tied following overtime, a winner will be determined by a three-player shootout.
Rule 20.4 (“Major Penalties”)
- An automatic game misconduct will be applied to any player who has been assessed two major penalties for fighting or three major penalties for any infraction in the same game.
Rule 9.6 (“Helmets”)
- A player on the ice whose helmet comes off during play will be assessed a minor penalty unless he immediately (a) exits the playing surface or (b) puts the helmet back on with the chin strap properly fastened.