Dirk Shadd/Tampa Bay Times/MCT/Sipa USA

The AHL will have a season, but it won’t be with 31 teams. The Charlotte Checkers, Milwaukee Admirals and Springfield Thunderbirds have all elected to opt out of the 2020-21 season. All three will return for 2021-22. After a board of governors call Monday, the league announced realignment for the upcoming season that will see 28 teams operate in five divisions. Those divisions will be as follows:


Bridgeport Sound Tigers
Hartford Wolf Pack
Providence Bruins


Belleville Senators
Laval Rocket
Manitoba Moose
Toronto Marlies


Binghamton Devils
Hershey Bears
Lehigh Valley Phantoms
Rochester Americans
Syracuse Crunch
Utica Comets
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins


Chicago Wolves
Cleveland Monsters
Grand Rapids Griffins
Iowa Wild
Rockford IceHogs
Texas Stars


Bakersfield Condors
Colorado Eagles
Henderson Silver Knights
Ontario Reign
San Diego Gulls
San Jose Barracuda
Stockton Heat
Tucson Roadrunners

Several teams have also secured provisional relocations. The Binghamton Devils will play in Newark, New Jersey; the Ontario Reign will play in El Segundo, California; the Providence Bruins will play in Marlborough, Massachusetts; and the San Diego Gulls will play in Irvine, California.

The league will play a schedule with variable lengths for each division but will have a minimum of 24 games. The league is hoping to start on Feb. 5, though an official schedule has not been announced yet.

This article first appeared on Pro Hockey Rumors and was syndicated with permission.

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