New Rules For The American Hockey League In 2015-16

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American Hockey League rule changes –

The American Hockey League has approved rule changes for the upcoming 2015-16 season.

Playing Schedule/Standings:  Each team will play 76 games except for the five California-based teams in the newly formed Pacific Division.  The Bakersfield Condors, Ontario Reign, San Diego Gulls, San Jose Barracuda and Stockton Heat will play 68 games each while the other two teams in the Pacific Division; the Texas Stars and San Antonio Rampage will play 76 games.

Teams will qualify for the Calder Cup Playoffs based on a points percentage with the top four teams in each of the four divisions qualifying for the playoffs.  Teams will receive two points for a win and one point for an overtime loss or a shootout loss.

There will be a change in the playoff format with divisional opponents playing each other in the first two rounds before the conference finals and Calder Cup Finals.  First round series will be a best-of-5 and the remaining series will be best-of-7.

Overtime – Rule 85:  Teams will change ends after the third period and there will be a dry scrape of the ice.  The teams will then play 3-on-3 for five minutes.  If a winner is not decided after playing 3 on 3 a shootout will follow. (last season they played a seven-minute overtime period split up by playing the first three minutes 4-on-4 and the final four minutes 3-on-3 before going to a shootout)

Video review – Rule 79:  Each team will have a coach’s challenge to review a play when video review is applicable.  A challenge can be used only if a team has its timeout.  If the coach’s challenge is unsuccessful, that team will be charged its timeout.

Faceoffs- Rule 76.4:  The AHL also changed its ruling on faceoffs.  New:  In the defensive zone, the defending center will place his stick on the ice first.  In the neutral zone it remains the same and the visiting teams center will place his stick on the ice first.   

Arizona Coyotes next?

I guess the next question for Arizona Coyotes fans is; when will the Coyotes be relocating their AHL affiliate to the Western Conference and the Pacific Division?  It makes sense.

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