AHL realignment sees Heat move back to North Division

Abbotsford Heat fans can expect to see more Canadian content in terms of regular season opponents in 2012-13.

The Abbotsford Heat can expect to see a lot more of the Toronto Marlies next season

The Abbotsford Heat can expect to see a lot more of the Toronto Marlies next season

Abbotsford Heat fans can expect to see more Canadian content in terms of regular season opponents in 2012-13.

At the conclusion of the American Hockey League’s board of governor’s annual meeting this week, it was announced that the Heat would move back to the North Division, where they’d spent their inaugural 2009-10 season.

Abbotsford had been shifted to the West Division in 2010-11 – a division which featured teams from Texas and Oklahoma.

The North Division is a more natural home for the Heat in terms of potential rivalries, in that it includes two other Canadian teams – the Toronto Marlies (Toronto Maple Leafs affiliate) and the Hamilton Bulldogs (Montreal Canadiens). The division also features the Lake Erie Monsters (Colorado Avalanche) and Rochester Americans (Buffalo Sabres).

Other alignment changes include the Grand Rapids Griffins moving to the Midwest Division and the Charlotte Checkers moving to the renamed South (formerly West) Division.

The formats for the regular-season schedule and Calder Cup are still to be determined. The season begins Oct. 12, and a complete schedule will be announced later this summer.

RULE CHANGES COMING

The AHL also announced a series of rule changes for the 2012-13 campaign.

• A video goal-review system has been approved.

• The NHL’s new rules restricting players’ ability to put their hand on the puck have been adopted. Players are no longer allowed to place a hand over the puck while it is on the ice to conceal it from an opponent, nor are they allowed to bat the puck with their hand in order to win a faceoff. Both violations call for a minor penalty.

• The AHL is also beta-testing a new hybrid icing rule for the NHL – a measure to avoid dangerous end-boards collisions. When two players are chasing the puck on a potential icing call, if the defender is leading the race when he reaches the faceoff dots, the linesman will stop the play and call icing. If the forechecking player is leading, play will be allowed to continue.

Just Posted

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Kalyn Head, seen here on June 4, 2021, will be running 100 kilometres for her “birthday marathon” fundraiser on July 23. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Woman’s 100-km birthday marathon from Chilliwack to Abbotsford will benefit Special Olympics B.C.

Kalyn Head hopes run raises awareness, advocates for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities

Dancers from the Sts’ailes First Nation perform the eagle dance at a welcome banner dedication ceremony on Thursday, June 10. “Ey Swayel” is a Halq̓eméylem term translated as ‘a good day.’ (Adam Louis/Observer)
VIDEO: ‘A good day’ for Agassiz school as Sts’ailes welcome banner is dedicated

Banner hangs above the school’s entrance, welcoming students, staff and visitors

Missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs was found deceased on Thursday evening (June 17).
Body of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs found

Hobbs was reported missing Monday after leaving his job site in Langley

UFV athletes were honoured for their strength and perseverance during the pandemic. (UFV photo)
Fraser Valley athletes recognized in year without sports

UFV Cascades athletes honoured for strength shown during the pandemic

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Surrey Fire Service battled a dock fire along the Fraser River late Friday night (June 18). It was on Musqueam Drive, near Industrial Road, around 10:45 p.m. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
VIDEO: Fire engulfs pier on Surrey side of the Fraser River

Dock has reportedly been unused for a long time

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

People in Metro Vancouver can expect to experience a short wave of heat just in time for Father’s Day, according to Environment Canada. (Black Press Media files)
Short-lived heatwave headed for Metro Vancouver this weekend

Temperatures are expected to be up to 10 degrees higher than average Sunday and Monday

Most Read