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AHL sets 2021-22 division alignment

American Hockey League president and CEO Scott Howson announced Monday that the league’s Board of Governors has approved a revamped division alignment for the 2021-22 season.

The Chicago Wolves, winners of four of the last five Central Division titles, remain in the Central with six familiar foes: The Grand Rapids Griffins, Iowa Wild, Manitoba Moose, Milwaukee Admirals, Rockford IceHogs and Texas Stars.

The Central Division continues to be paired with the Pacific Division to comprise the Western Conference. The Pacific Division has swelled to nine teams with the relocation of the Vancouver Canucks’ affiliate from Utica, New York, to Abbotsford, British Columbia.

The AHL also revealed a schedule unification plan that calls for all teams to play 72 games starting with the 2022-23 season. As part of the movement toward this balanced schedule, AHL teams are playing either 68, 72 or 76 games during the 2021-22 season. The Wolves will play 76 games for the 11th consecutive season.

“In coming together to create a plan that is fair and equitable, our owners have demonstrated a commitment to the long-term strength of the league,” Howson said.

The AHL’s Board of Governors also announced there will be an increase in the number of teams qualifying for the Calder Cup Playoffs each season. Details are being finalized and will be announced this summer.

While the full AHL schedule won’t become official until July, the Wolves already have secured five prime dates for the 2021-22 season — including the home opener on Saturday, Oct. 16, at Allstate Arena.

Wolves fans can purchase “The First Five” Mini-Plan right now to ensure their favorite seats for the games on Oct. 16, Nov. 7, Nov. 13, Jan. 8 and March 6. The first 500 people to purchase a Mini-Plan get to take a professional portrait inside the Wolves’ penalty box. To learn more, click here.

For more information on customized Wolves ticket plans for the 2021-22 season — everything from The First Five to Alpha Wolf season-ticket packages to tailor-made group outings — visit ChicagoWolves.com or call 1-800-THE-WOLVES.