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AHL announces division realignment, will expand Calder Cup playoffs

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The American Hockey League announced plans for multiple league-wide changes, including an expansion to the Calder Cup Playoffs on Monday.

In a press release, the AHL stated that it will increase the number of teams qualifying for the Calder Cup Playoffs, stating that "details will be finalized and announced later in the offseason."

The league also announced plans to expand divisions, with changes coming to the Pacific Division, home of the Bakersfield Condors. The Stockton Heat will return to the Pacific Division after spending 2021 in Alberta playing in the Canadian Division. A yet-to-be named franchise out of Abbotsford, British Columbia, which relocated from Utica, New York, will also be joining the Pacific in 2021-22.

The league also announced a schedule unification plan that will set all regular season schedules at 72 games beginning in 2022-23. Next season, the Pacific Division will pay 68 games, with teams from the Atlantic, North and Central Divisions getting to choose whether to play 72 or 76.