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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

NAHL Press Release - New Alignment

Fresh from my inbox...

For Immediate Release


Frisco, Texas -- The North American Hockey League has announced that it has reconsidered its four-divisional alignment for the 2006-07 season, and will replace it with a three-divisional alignment.

As part of the new alignment, the number of teams making the playoffs will also increase, two playoff rounds will be played instead of one and the Robertson Cup Championship will be played as a four team tournament.

These decisions were made in a series of conference calls by the NAHL Board of Governors during the last week.

“After the owners voted to go with the four division format, we attempted to draw up a schedule that would satisfy everyone,” said Mark Frankenfeld, NAHL director of hockey operations. “However, we found that this process hit a number of roadblocks and we could not arrive at a mutually agreeable schedule. As a result, the owners re-examined their previous decisions and determined that a three-division set up would most likely address the concerns that arose.

“In hindsight the three-divisional alignment has some major added benefits. It will provide an opportunity for more teams to make the playoffs, more entertainment for fans, more opportunities for colleges to scout our players at a time when they are playing their best hockey of the season, and provide more playoff experience to more players while enhancing their enjoyment of playing in the NAHL.

“We also received input from fans, college coaches and various NHL personnel after we announced the four division alignment and our previous playoff format that the three division alignment with more playoff teams might be a better way to go. So that was also factored into our thinking.”

The three NAHL divisions for 2006-07 are as follows:

Alpena IceDiggers
Marquette Rangers
Mahoning Valley Phantoms
Traverse City North Stars
US National Team Development Program

Alaska Avalanche
Fairbanks Ice Dogs
St. Louis Bandits
Santa Fe Roadrunners
Texas Tornado
Wichita Falls Wildcats

Alexandria Blizzard
Bismarck Bobcats
Fargo-Moorhead Jets
North Iowa Outlaws
Southern Minnesota Express
Springfield Jr. Blues

As before, the regular season will begin with the NAHL Showcase in Blaine, Minnesota, on September 13. It will now end on April 1.

The top four teams in each division will make the playoffs, for a total of 12 teams, an increase of four teams over the previous alignment. There will be two rounds of playoffs, the Division Semi-Finals and the Division Finals. Each round will be decided in best of five series. If both Alaska teams reach the playoffs in the South Division, they will automatically face each other in the Division Semi-Finals

The Division Semi-Finals will begin no earlier than April 5 and end no later than April 15. The Division Finals will begin no earlier than April 19 and end no later than April 29.

The divisional playoff winners will advance to the Robertson Cup Championship Tournament, to be joined by the host team and to end no later than May 5.

The Board of Governors also elected Mark Motz of the North Iowa Outlaws as the Chairman of the Board.

The Executive Committee of the Board of Governors, which was selected earlier this month on the basis of one representative for each division, will now be revised due to the change in the divisional structure. The new Executive Committee is expected to be in place before the end of June.

Comments on "NAHL Press Release - New Alignment"


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:57 PM, June 20, 2006) : 

North Division is not strong.


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