AHL Completes Annual Meetings
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League's Board of Governors has concluded its 2008 Annual Meeting, held this week at Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Chaired by AHL President and CEO David Andrews, the four days of meetings, which concluded on Thursday, were attended by representatives from all 29 American Hockey League clubs and most National Hockey League teams, as well as NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and USA Hockey president Ron DeGregorio.
The Annual Meeting resulted in the following announcements:
- The Board approved an increase in AHL playing rosters during the regular season to 18 skaters and two goaltenders (up from 17 and two).
- At the request of NHL general managers, the AHL has implemented one-minute minor penalties during overtime in the regular season.
- In order to bring the AHL rule book closer in line to the NHL's, the Board approved the following rules changes:
- Rule 60.3 ("High-Sticking") now calls for a double-minor penalty (rather than a major) in the event of a high-sticking infraction that causes injury, whether accidental or careless, in the opinion of the referee.
- Rule 63.2 ("Delaying the Game") now calls for an automatic minor penalty when any player or goalkeeper, while in his defending zone, shoots the puck directly out of the playing surface, except where there is no glass.
- A change to Rule 81.1 ("Icing") states that "Any contact between opposing players while pursuing the puck on an icing must be for the sole purpose of playing the puck and not for eliminating the opponent from playing the puck. Unnecessary or dangerous contact could result in penalties being assessed to the offending player."
- A change to Rule 85.5 ("Face-Off Location") provides that if a puck is shot off the goal frame, goal post or crossbar, the subsequent face-off will remain in the end zone where the puck went out of play.
- The Board approved the transfer of ownership of the Peoria Rivermen franchise from Rivermen II, Ltd., to the St. Louis Blues hockey club.
- The Board approved the transfer of ownership of the inactive Edmonton AHL franchise to Rexall Sports Corp., following last week's NHL approval of the sale of the Edmonton Oilers to the same group.
In operation since 1936, the AHL continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 84 percent of today's NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and for the seventh year in a row, more than 6 million fans attended AHL games across North America in 2007-08.