AHL Board of Governors approves division realignment for 2015-16

The Rockford IceHogs welcome some new faces to the Western Conference.

The American Hockey League and its Board of Governors approved a division realignment for 2015-16 season Tuesday.

The Chicago Blackhawks' AHL affilate, Rockford IceHogs, will play in the Central Division with the following teams: Charlotte Checkers (Hurricanes), Chicago Wolves (Blues), Grand Rapids Griffins (Red Wings), Iowa Wild, Lake Erie Monsters (Blue Jackets), Manitoba Moose (Winnipeg Jets) and Milwaukee Admirals (Predators).

The current St. John's IceCaps franchise, affiliated with the Jets, will relocate to Winnipeg to become the Moose, where it played from 1996 to 2011 using the same name. The Moose, Checkers and Wild -- both formerly of the West Division -- are the new teams to the IceHogs division.

The Colorado Avalanche's and Dallas Stars' AHL affiliates will compete in the Pacific Division as the San Antonio Rampage and Texas Stars, respectively. The Avalanche moved their affiliation from Lake Erie to San Antonio after the 2014-15 season.

The format for the 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs will be finalized by the Board of Governors in July.

The IceHogs return to action Wednesday when they host Grand Rapids in Game 3 of their Western Conference Semifinal at BMO Harris Bank Center.

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