The AHL worked closely with the National Hockey League and Professional Hockey Players' Association to seek a solution to what had become a very onerous playing schedule. As the league has grown and the game has become faster and more physical, the wear and tear on players from the frequency of games and travel began to affect player development and, at times, the quality of competition.
These steps are intended to provide a safer environment for our players through increased rest and recovery time, and also provide fans with an even higher caliber of play as the result of reduced player fatigue.
The playing calendar will be lengthened by one week and each team will play 76 games, rather than 80 games. As a result, no team will be required to play four games in five nights, and an increase in weekend dates as result of the extended calendar is likely. In addition, the first round of the Calder Cup playoffs will be a best-of-five series, rather than the current best-of-seven format.
Fans can contact the Chicago Wolves office directly with any questions by calling 1-800-THE-WOLVES.
We look forward to embarking on a new season in 2011-12, and thank our fans for their unwavering support.