AHL Announces Plans For 2021 Playoffs And Calendar For 2021-22 Season


The American Hockey League (AHL) announced on Thursday that the league will not hold traditional Calder Cup playoffs in 2021. As a result, the league provided each of the divisions the opportunity to independently determine its own postseason format, but only the Pacific Division has decided to add a postseason tournament to determine a regular season champion.

For the Hershey Bears’ (North) division, the team finishing in first place during the regular season (ranked by points percentage) will be awarded the F.G. (Teddy) Oke Trophy as division champion.

The AHL Board of Governors has also approved the calendar for the 2021-22 season. The AHL’s 86th season, with 31 clubs expected to be active, will begin October 15, 2021 and conclude April 24, 2022.

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … American Hockey League President and Chief Executive Officer Scott Howson today announced that due to league COVID-19 protocols, the AHL will not be able to conduct traditional Calder Cup Playoffs in 2021.

Each of the league’s five divisions has been provided the opportunity to independently determine its own postseason format. The members of the Pacific Division will complete the 2020-21 season with a playoff tournament to determine a division champion; members of the other four divisions will not have postseason play.

“While we are disappointed that we will not be able to award the Calder Cup this spring, we are grateful to have been able to provide a safe and competitive environment for more than 1,000 players to play AHL hockey and continue their development,” said Howson. “We’re especially thankful for the work done by our athletic trainers, COVID-19 officers and other front-line workers to ensure the health and safety of all of our players and staff throughout the league.”

In the Pacific Division, a postseason tournament will be held to determine the division championship. The format for the tournament will be announced at a later date. The tournament winner will be awarded the John D. Chick Trophy as champions of the Pacific Division; the Chick Trophy has been presented to an AHL division champion annually since 1961-62.

In the Atlantic Division, the team finishing in first place during the regular season (ranked by points percentage) will be awarded the Emile Francis Trophy as division champions; the Francis Trophy has been presented to an AHL division champion annually since 2001-02.

In the North Division, the team finishing in first place during the regular season (ranked by points percentage) will be awarded the F.G. (Teddy) Oke Trophy as division champions; the Oke Trophy is one of the oldest trophies in North American sports, first presented in 1927 to the London Panthers of the Canadian Professional Hockey League.

In the Canadian Division, the team finishing in first place during the regular season (ranked by points percentage) will be awarded the Frank S. Mathers Trophy as division champions; the Mathers Trophy has been presented to an AHL division or conference champion annually since 1995-96.

In the Central Division, the team finishing in first place during the regular season (ranked by points percentage) will be awarded the Sam Pollock Trophy as division champions; the Pollock Trophy has been presented to an AHL division champion annually since 1995-96.

2021-22 CALENDAR SET

The AHL Board of Governors has also approved the calendar for the 2021-22 season.

The AHL’s 86th season, with 31 clubs expected to be active, will begin October 15, 2021 and conclude April 24, 2022.

Division alignments and schedule information will be announced during the offseason.


The Professional Hockey Players Association voiced its displeasure with the decision by the Pacific Division to add additional games to the season.

The Hershey Bears have seven games remaining in the regular season, and three games that may or may not be made up. They are currently in first in the North Division.

By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His passion for the Caps has grown over the decades, which has included time as a season ticket holder, social media and community organizer, and most recently led to the founding of NoVa Caps in 2014. Jon earned a Bachelor's of Science in Civil Engineering at Old Dominion University, and is a Systems Engineer during intermissions, which has been instrumental in supporting his Capitals habit.
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