The Chicago Wolves will compete in the American Hockey League’s Midwest Division in the 2011-12 season, after the 30-team league re-aligned its two-conference format to expand to six divisions from the previous four.
The AHL also announced a new format for the Calder Cup playoffs, in which eight teams in each conference will qualify for the postseason, with the three division winners earning the top three seeds and the next five best teams in order of regular-season points seeded fourth through eighth. The conference quarterfinals will be best-of-five series; the conference semifinals, conference finals and Calder Cup Finals will be best-of-seven series. Teams will be re-ordered after the first round so that the highest-remaining seed plays the lowest-remaining seed.
The Wolves will compete against one new rival in the five-team Midwest Division - the Charlotte Checkers - and three traditional foes: the Milwaukee Admirals, Peoria Rivermen and Rockford IceHogs.
The Western Conference also features five rivals from the North Division: the Grand Rapids Griffins, Hamilton Bulldogs, Lake Erie Monsters, Rochester Americans and Toronto Marlies; and five rivals from the West Division: the Abbotsford Heat, Houston Aeros, Oklahoma City Barons, San Antonio Rampage and Texas Stars.
The regular-season schedule format is still to be determined, and the complete playing schedule for the 2011-12 regular season, which begins Oct. 7, will be announced later this summer. For information on tickets or group outings, call 1-800-THE-WOLVES or visit chicagowolves.com.
Peoria (St. Louis)
Oklahoma City (Edmonton)
San Antonio (Florida)
Grand Rapids (Detroit)
Lake Erie (Colorado)
St. John’s (Winnipeg)
Worcester (San Jose
Albany (New Jersey)
Bridgeport (New York Islanders)
Connecticut (New York Rangers)
Norfolk (Tampa Bay)
Note: NHL affiliate indicated in parentheses.