|2017–18 AHL season|
|League||American Hockey League|
|Season champions||Toronto Marlies|
|Eastern Conference champions||Toronto Marlies|
|Eastern Conference runners-up||Lehigh Valley Phantoms|
|Western Conference champions||Texas Stars|
|Western Conference runners-up||Rockford IceHogs|
|Playoffs MVP||Andreas Johnsson|
|Calder Cup champions||Toronto Marlies|
The 2017–18 AHL season was the 82nd season of the American Hockey League. The regular season begins in October 6, 2017 and ends in April 15, 2018. The 2018 Calder Cup playoffs follow the conclusion of the regular season.
The AHL's only alignment change was moving the Charlotte Checkers from the Central Division of the Western Conference to the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference, significantly decreasing their interdivisional travel and balancing the two conferences' members. Similar to the season scheduling in the previous season, the six California and Arizona based teams continued to have a 68-game season while the rest of the AHL teams play a 76-game season.
Team and NHL affiliation changesEdit
The National Hockey League added the Vegas Golden Knights for the 2017–18 season. The Las Vegas management has confirmed that the organization would also have an AHL affiliate in their first season, although it was not stated whether the AHL team would be an expansion or relocation. The organization looked into adding an affiliate on the West Coast with the leading candidates being Salt Lake City, Reno, or Fresno. However, as the season went on, they looked into co-affiliations with a pre-existing AHL team since the new NHL team would likely not have a large amount of drafted talent to fully stock an AHL roster. In February 2017, AHL commissioner David Andrews later stated that it was "50-50 chance" of a 31st team for the 2017–18 season.
Other than the Golden Knights adding a team, there were also reports of the St. Louis Blues adding an expansion team in Kansas City in November 2016. This would later be denied by the announced potential owner in Kansas City, Lamar Hunt Jr., in a press release from his ECHL team in the area, the Missouri Mavericks, and further denied by AHL commissioner, David Andrews, after the January 2017 Board of Governors meeting. In May 2017, the 30 team alignment was confirmed and there would be no expansion for 2017–18. The Golden Knights signed a multi-year affiliation with the Chicago Wolves, replacing the Blues as their primary affiliate. The Blues also announced that they would continue to send players to the Wolves for that season.
Prior to the start of the 2017-18 season it was announced that the ECHL's Colorado Eagles would become the Colorado Avalanche's American Hockey League affiliate starting with the 2018-19 season becoming the league's 31st member to match the NHL's number of teams. The Avalanche have been afffilated with the San Antonio Rampage. The Rampage will become the affiliate of the St. Louis Blues who are the only NHL team without their own AHL affiliate for the 2017-18 season.
- The Albany Devils relocated to become the Binghamton Devils to replace the Binghamton Senators.
- The Binghamton Senators were purchased by their parent club, the Ottawa Senators, and relocating the team to Belleville, Ontario, as the Belleville Senators.
- The Montreal Canadiens' AHL franchise, then operating as the St. John's IceCaps, is announced as relocating to the Montreal suburb of Laval, Quebec, as the Laval Rocket. Danny Williams, owner of the IceCaps team but not a franchise holder, announced on the same day his intentions to find another AHL franchise to replace the Canadiens' owned franchise.
|AHL team||New affiliate||Old affiliate|
|Chicago Wolves||Vegas Golden Knights||St. Louis Blues|
Although the Blues would no longer be the Wolves' primary NHL affiliate, they would continue to send players to the Wolves as an unofficial affiliate.
|Lehigh Valley Phantoms||76||47||19||5||5||260||218||104||.684|
|Bridgeport Sound Tigers||76||36||32||5||3||207||216||80||.526|
|Grand Rapids Griffins||76||42||25||2||7||237||210||93||.612|
|San Jose Barracuda||68||34||26||4||4||186||198||76||.559|
|San Diego Gulls||68||36||28||3||1||202||197||76||.559|
|San Antonio Rampage||76||36||31||10||0||198||219||78||.526|
Calder Cup playoffsEdit
Longest AHL Game EverEdit
On May 9-10, 2018 the Lehigh Valley Phantoms defeated the Charlotte Checkers 2-1 in 5 overtimes, making it the longest game in the league's 82 year history. Alex Krushelmyski scored the winning goal at 6:48 of the fifth overtime period. The game ended at 1:09AM EDT on the 10th. Lehigh Valley goaltender Alex Lyon finished with 94 saves on 95 shots including 79 straight to end the game, while Charlotte goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 51 of 53 shots. The game beat the previous record by 3 minutes and 50 seconds Ironically, the previous record also involved Philadelphia Flyers and Carolina Hurricanes affiliates which was set in 2008.
The 2018 Calder Cup playoffs format was retained from the divisional format of the 2017 Calder Cup playoffs. The playoff format was finalized at the Annual Board of Governors meeting that took place July 2017. During the regular season, teams receive two points for a win and one point for an overtime or shootout loss. The top four teams in each division ranked by points percentage (points earned divided by points available) qualify for the 2018 Calder Cup playoffs. The division semifinals are best-of-five series; all subsequent rounds are best-of-seven.
Atlantic Division SemifinalsEdit
- Lehigh Valley Phantoms defeated Providence Bruins 3 games to 1
- Charlotte Checkers defeated Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 3 games to none
North Division SemifinalsEdit
- Toronto Marlies defeated Utica Comets 3 games to 2
- Syracuse Crunch defeated Rochester Americans 3 games to none
Central Division SemifinalsEdit
- Rockford IceHogs defeated Chicago Wolves 3 games to none
- Manitoba Moose defeated Grand Rapids Griffins 3 games to 2
Pacific Division SemifinalsEdit
- Tucson Roadrunners defeated San Jose Barracuda 3 games to 1
- Texas Stars defeated Ontario Reign 3 games to 1
Atlantic Division FinalEdit
North Division FinalEdit
Central Division FinalEdit
Pacific Division FinalEdit
Eastern Conference FinalEdit
Western Conference FinalEdit
Calder Cup FinalEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 AHL BOARD OF GOVERNORS ANNUAL MEETING CONCLUDES. AHL (July 6, 2017).
- ↑ 2017-18 AHL ALIGNMENT ANNOUNCED. AHL (May 11, 2017).
- ↑ Las Vegas Will Have AHL Affiliate By Christmas, Share ECHL Team. Sin Bin (August 24, 2016).
- ↑ Bill Foley considers options for minor league affiliates for his NHL team. Las Vegas Review-Journal (June 23, 2016).
- ↑ Bill Foley seeks minor-league affiliate for Las Vegas NHL team. Las Vegas Review-Journal (September 26, 2016).
- ↑ American Hockey League president talks scheduling, expansion, All-Stars, etc.. The Press-Enterprise (February 11, 2017).
- ↑ Report: Blues AHL affiliation to move to Kansas City. KMOV (November 30, 2016).
- ↑ Missouri Mavericks Deny Reports on AHL and Kansas City. Arena Digest (December 2, 2016).
- ↑ Blue Notes: Reaves moving to third line, at least to start. St. Louis Post-Dispatch (January 30, 2017).
- ↑ http://www.oursportscentral.com/services/releases/weekly-sports-league--franchise-report/n-5277215
- ↑ Sens Owner Purchases AHL Team Partners W/ Belleville. Ottawa Senators (September 26, 2016).
- ↑ Canadiens moving AHL affiliate to Laval in 17-18. AHL (11 July 2016).
- ↑ New Laval AHL team will be known as the Rocket. CJAD (September 8, 2016).
- ↑ IceCaps Seek New Hockey Partner. OurSports Central (11 July 2016).
- ↑ WOLVES, GOLDEN KNIGHTS ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP. AHL (May 16, 2017).
- ↑ Armstrong statement on AHL affiliation. St. Louis Blues (May 16, 2017).