The Rochester Americans, the Buffalo Sabres’ top minor league affiliate, are one of 28 teams that will participate in the upcoming American Hockey League season.
Three AHL teams – the Charlotte Checkers, Milwaukee Admirals and Springfield Thunderbirds – have opted out of this season but will return in 2021-22, the league also announced Monday.
For the COVID-19 pandemic-shortened season, the Amerks have been grouped in the new North Division with the Binghamton Devils, Hershey Bears, Lehigh Valley Phantoms, Syracuse Crunch, Utica Comets and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
Meanwhile, the league will allow four teams to temporarily change locations this season: Binghamton will move to Newark, NJ; the Ontario Reign will move to El Segungo, Calif.; the Providence Bruins will move to Marlborough, Mass; and the San Diego Gulls will move to Irvine, Calif.
Details regarding the schedule and postseason must be worked out. The regular season is set to begin Feb. 5.
The pandemic forced the AHL to pause the 2019-20 season on March 12, 2020 and cancel the rest of the schedule and playoffs on May 11, 2020.