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2017–18 AHL season
League American Hockey League
Sport Ice hockey
Regular season
Season champions Toronto Marlies
Playoffs
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
Calder Cup champions Toronto Marlies
  Runners-up Texas Stars

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.[1] The 2018 Calder Cup playoffs follow the conclusion of the regular season.

League changesEdit

American Hockey League 2017-18 map zoomed.svg

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.[2] 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.[3][4] 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.[5] In February 2017, AHL commissioner David Andrews later stated that it was "50-50 chance" of a 31st team for the 2017–18 season.[6]

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.[7] 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,[8] and further denied by AHL commissioner, David Andrews, after the January 2017 Board of Governors meeting.[9] 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.

The league confirmed after the 2017 Board of Governors meeting that it had made a commitment to an expansion applicant for a 31st team for the 2018–19 season.[1]

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.[10]

RelocationsEdit

Affiliation changesEdit

AHL team New affiliate Old affiliate
Chicago Wolves

[15]

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.[16]

StandingsEdit

Atlantic DivisionEdit

Team GP W L OL SL GF GA Pts  %
Lehigh Valley Phantoms 76 47 19 5 5 260 218 104 .684
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 76 45 22 6 3 254 224 99 .651
Charlotte Checkers 76 46 26 1 3 264 213 96 .632
Providence Bruins 76 45 26 3 2 231 187 95 .625
Bridgeport Sound Tigers 76 36 32 5 3 207 216 80 .526
Hartford Wolfpack 76 34 33 6 3 208 252 77 .507
Springfield Thunderbirds 76 32 37 5 2 210 233 71 .467
Hershey Bears 76 30 37 4 5 202 251 69 .454

North DivisionEdit

Team GP W L OL SL GF GA Pts  %
Toronto Marlies 76 54 18 2 2 257 173 112 .737
Syracuse Crunch 76 46 22 3 5 234 189 100 .658
Rochester Americans 76 37 22 11 6 234 221 91 .599
Utica Comets 76 38 26 8 4 211 216 88 .579
Belleville Senators 76 29 42 2 3 197 270 63 .414
Binghamton Devils 76 25 38 9 4 193 247 63 .414
Laval Rocket 76 24 42 7 3 206 281 58 .382

Central DivisionEdit

Team GP W L OL SL GF GA Pts  %
Chicago Wolves 76 42 23 7 4 245 209 95

.625

Grand Rapids Griffins 76 42 25 2 7 237 210 93 .612
Manitoba Moose 76 42 26 4 4 254 199 92

.605

Rockford IceHogs 76 40 28 4 4 239 234 88 .579
Iowa Wild 76 33 27 10 6 232 242 82 .539
Milwaukee Admirals 76 38 32 4 2 216 235 82 .539
Cleveland Monsters 76 25 41 7 3 190 258 60 .395

Pacific DivisionEdit

Team GP W L OL SL GF GA Pts  %
Tucson Roadrunners 68 42 20 5 1 214 173 90 .662
Texas Stars 76 38 24 8 6 223 231 90 .592
Ontario Reign 68 36 25 4 3 200 194 90 .581
San Jose Barracuda 68 34 26 4 4 186 198 76 .559
San Diego Gulls 68 36 28 3 1 202 197 76 .559
Stockton Heat 68 34 28 2 4 211 204 74 .544
Bakersfield Condors 68 31 27 9 1 188 206 72 .529
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.

Playoff formatEdit

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.[1]

Atlantic Division SemifinalsEdit

North Division SemifinalsEdit

Central Division SemifinalsEdit

Pacific Division SemifinalsEdit

Atlantic Division FinalEdit

North Division FinalEdit

Central Division FinalEdit

Pacific Division FinalEdit

Eastern Conference FinalEdit

Western Conference FinalEdit

Calder Cup FinalEdit

2018 AHL Calder Cup Champions Toronto Marlies

2018 AHL Calder Cup champions Toronto Marlies

ReferencesEdit

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