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AHL axes Calder Cup, Pacific Division to determine champion with tournament

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Complications from league-wide COVID-19 protocols have forced the American Hockey League to adjust its playoff format.

The league announced on Thursday that it would not conduct the Calder Cup Playoffs in 2021 and that individual divisions would independently determine their own postseason format.

The Bakersfield Condors and the rest of the Pacific Division will host a postseason tournament to determine who will capture the John D. Chick Trophy as division champion. Thursday's press release stated that "members of the other four divisions will not have postseason play."

The format for the tournament will be announced at a later date.

The Condors are currently locked in an ultra-tight, three-way race for the division lead. Henderson has a Pacific-best .656 winning percentage, just ahead of San Diego (.625) and Bakersfield (.621). The Condors were 5-0 against those two teams in April, including a 6-2 win over Henderson Wednesday night.

Start and end dates were also revealed for the 2021-22 regular season, which will begin on Oct. 15 and conclude on April 24, 2022.