It turns out the Boston Bruins are not the only pro-hockey available to us. The AHL still exists, and it released it’s schedule for the 2018-2019 season.
News of note:
The AHL welcomes expansion franchise the Colorado Eagles
Who should in no way be confused with the Springfield Thunderbirds
The Eagles were, until this season, an ECHL franchise and were associated with the San Antonio Rampage. So naturally, with the addition of the NHL expansion team, the Vegas Golden Knights, the Eagles are the newest AHL team and are affiliated with the… Colorado Avalanche.
Wait… how does this happen? Doesn’t Colorado already have an AHL franchise?
Well, no. When the G-Knights entered the NHL, they signed an affiliation agreement with the Chicago Wolves, who at the time were – due to their obvious geographic proximity – affiliates of
the St. Louis Blues.
The Blues, in turn, signed an affiliation agreement with the San Antonio Rampage. The Rampage were the Avs’ AHL team but the Colorado team decided having their AHL team nearby was a good idea, and would elevate their ECHL affiliate prior to the 2018/19 season, and the Blues would pick up the Rampage’s partnership. And to make it slightly more confusing, both the Blues and the Avs were sending their prospects through the Rampage last season.
Anyway, the Bruins AHL franchise – the Providence Bruins (or “P-Bruins”) – are in the AHL’s eight team Atlantic Division. Teams in the Atlantic have a 76-game season (as opposed to the Pacific Division, who have 68 games each). Their season opener is Oct 5 in Hartford, and they appear in Providence the next night, hosting the Laval Rocket (aka, Le baby Habs).
The AHL schedule is supremely balanced, with one home and one away game vs North Division teams Belleville, Binghamton, Laval, Rochester, Syracuse, Toronto and Utica, but not Cleveland. Ever.
And against their division rivals, 6 games vs each of the Hershey Bears, Lehigh Valley Phantoms & Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, 8 games vs the Charlotte Checkers, 10 games vs the Hartford Wolf Pack, 12 games vs the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, and 14 games vs the Springfield Thunderbirds.
(Screw the Western Conference. Who wants to go to Texas or California anyway, right?)
So there you have it. All of Providence’s games for the upcoming season have been inserted into our event calendar.