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AHL ANNOUNCES 2009-10 DIVISION ALIGNMENT

07/07/2009 11:00 AM - 29 teams set to compete in league's 74th season

SPRINGFIELD, Mass.- American Hockey League President and CEO David Andrews announced that the league's Board of Governors has approved the conference and division alignment for the AHL's 2009-10 season (NHL affiliates in parentheses).

In the Eastern Conference, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers move from the East Division to the Atlantic Division, while the Syracuse Crunch join the East, coming from the North Division of the Western Conference.

In the Western Conference, the Abbotsford Heat will join the North and the Texas Stars will join the West Division.

Eastern Conference
Atlantic Division
Bridgeport Sound Tigers (NYI)
Hartford Wolf Pack (NYR)
Lowell Devils (NJ)
Manchester Monarchs (LA)
Portland Pirates (BUF)
Providence Bruins (BOS)
Springfield Falcons (EDM)
Worcester Sharks (SJ)

East Division
Adirondack Phantoms (PHI)
Albany River Rats (CAR)
Binghamton Senators (OTT)
Hershey Bears (WSH)
Norfolk Admirals (TB)
Syracuse Crunch (CBJ)
W-B/Scranton Penguins (PIT)
Western Conference
North Division
Abbotsford Heat (CGY)
Grand Rapids Griffins (DET)
Hamilton Bulldogs (MTL)
Lake Erie Monsters (COL)
Manitoba Moose (VAN)
Rochester Americans (FLA)
Toronto Marlies (TOR)

West Division
Chicago Wolves (ATL)
Houston Aeros (MIN)
Milwaukee Admirals (NSH)
Peoria Rivermen (STL)
Rockford IceHogs (CHI)
San Antonio Rampage (PHX)
Texas Stars (DAL)

The 2009-10 regular season will begin on Oct. 2. The complete schedule will be announced later this summer.

In operation since 1936, the AHL continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 84 percent of today's NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and for the eighth year in a row, more than 6 million fans attended AHL games across North America in 2008-09.