The 2017–18 AHL season was the 82nd season of the American Hockey League. The regular season ran from October 6, 2017, to April 15, 2018. The 2018 Calder Cup playoffs followed the conclusion of the regular season. The Toronto Marlies won their first Calder Cup in seven games over the Texas Stars.
|2017–18 AHL season|
|League||American Hockey League|
|Duration||October 6, 2017 – April 15, 2018|
|Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy||Toronto Marlies|
|Season MVP||Phil Varone (Lehigh Valley)|
|Top scorer||Chris Terry (Laval)|
|Eastern Conference champions||Toronto Marlies|
|Eastern Conference runners-up||Lehigh Valley Phantoms|
|Western Conference champions||Texas Stars|
|Western Conference runners-up||Rockford IceHogs|
|Playoffs MVP||Andreas Johnsson (Toronto)|
The AHL's only alignment change was moving the Charlotte Checkers from the Central Division of the Western Conference to the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference, significantly decreasing their interdivisional travel and balancing the two conferences' members. Similar to the season scheduling in the previous season, the six California and Arizona based teams continued to have a 68-game season while the rest of the AHL teams play a 76-game season.
Team and NHL affiliation changesEdit
The National Hockey League added the Vegas Golden Knights for the 2017–18 season. The Las Vegas management confirmed that the organization would also have an AHL affiliate in their first season, although it was not stated whether the AHL team would be an expansion or relocation. The organization looked into adding an affiliate on the West Coast with the leading candidates being Salt Lake City, Reno, or Fresno. However, as the season went on, they looked into co-affiliations with a pre-existing AHL team since the new NHL team would likely not have a large amount of drafted talent to fully stock an AHL roster. In February 2017, AHL commissioner David Andrews later stated that there was a "50-50 chance" of a 31st team being established for the 2017–18 season.
Other than the Golden Knights adding a team, there were also reports in November 2016 of the St. Louis Blues adding an expansion team in Kansas City. This would later be denied by the announced potential owner in Kansas City, Lamar Hunt Jr., in a press release from his ECHL team in the area, the Missouri Mavericks, and further denied by AHL commissioner, David Andrews, after the January 2017 Board of Governors meeting. In May 2017, the 30 team alignment was confirmed and there would be no expansion for 2017–18. The Golden Knights signed a multi-year affiliation with the Chicago Wolves, replacing the Blues as their primary affiliate. The Blues also announced that they would continue to send players to the Wolves for that season, as well as to the San Antonio Rampage, the AHL team that they would affiliate with for 2018–19.
The league confirmed after the 2017 Board of Governors meeting that it had made a commitment to an expansion applicant for a 31st team for the 2018–19 season later revealed to be the Colorado Eagles. The Eagles had been a member of the ECHL prior to the promotion and the affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche. The Eagles join other recent ECHL markets in the AHL such as Bakersfield, Charlotte, Ontario, and Stockton.
- The Albany Devils relocated to become the Binghamton Devils to replace the Binghamton Senators.
- The Binghamton Senators were purchased by their parent club, the Ottawa Senators, and relocated to Belleville, Ontario, as the Belleville Senators.
- The Montreal Canadiens' AHL franchise, then operating as the St. John's IceCaps, was relocated to the Montreal suburb of Laval, Quebec, as the Laval Rocket. Danny Williams, owner of the IceCaps team but not a franchise holder, announced on the same day his intentions to find another AHL franchise to replace the Canadiens' owned franchise. A separate ownership group bought an ECHL expansion team called the Newfoundland Growlers a season later.
|AHL team||New affiliate||Old affiliate|
|Chicago Wolves||Vegas Golden Knights||St. Louis Blues[a]|
- Although the Blues would no longer be the Wolves' primary NHL affiliate, they would continue to send players to the Wolves as an unofficial affiliate.
y– indicates team has clinched division and a playoff spot
x– indicates team has clinched a playoff spot
e– indicates team has been eliminated from playoff contention
|y – Lehigh Valley Phantoms (PHI)||76||47||19||5||5||104||.684||260||218|
|x – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (PIT)||76||45||22||6||3||99||.651||252||223|
|x – Charlotte Checkers (CAR)||76||46||26||1||3||96||.632||262||212|
|x – Providence Bruins (BOS)||76||45||26||3||2||95||.625||231||187|
|e – Bridgeport Sound Tigers (NYI)||76||36||32||5||3||80||.526||206||214|
|e – Hartford Wolf Pack (NYR)||76||34||33||6||3||77||.507||208||252|
|e – Springfield Thunderbirds (FLA)||76||32||37||5||2||71||.467||210||233|
|e – Hershey Bears (WSH)||76||30||37||4||5||69||.454||201||249|
|y – Toronto Marlies (TOR)||76||54||18||2||2||112||.737||254||170|
|x – Syracuse Crunch (TBL)||76||46||22||3||5||100||.658||234||189|
|x – Rochester Americans (BUF)||76||37||22||11||6||91||.599||234||221|
|x – Utica Comets (VAN)||76||38||26||8||4||88||.579||211||216|
|e – Binghamton Devils (NJD)||76||25||38||9||4||63||.414||193||247|
|e – Belleville Senators (OTT)||76||29||42||2||3||63||.414||194||266|
|e – Laval Rocket (MTL)||76||24||42||7||3||58||.382||206||281|
|y – Chicago Wolves (VGK)||76||42||23||7||4||95||.625||244||208|
|x – Grand Rapids Griffins (DET)||76||42||25||2||7||93||.612||237||210|
|x – Manitoba Moose (WPG)||76||42||26||4||4||92||.605||253||198|
|x – Rockford IceHogs (CHI)||76||40||28||4||4||88||.579||239||234|
|e – Iowa Wild (MIN)||76||33||27||10||6||82||.539||232||246|
|e – Milwaukee Admirals (NSH)||76||38||32||4||2||82||.539||216||235|
|e – Cleveland Monsters (CBJ)||76||25||41||7||3||60||.395||190||258|
|y – Tucson Roadrunners (ARI)||68||42||20||5||1||90||.662||214||173|
|x – Texas Stars (DAL)||76||38||24||8||6||90||.592||223||231|
|x – Ontario Reign (LAK)||68||36||25||4||3||79||.581||200||194|
|x – San Jose Barracuda (SJS)||68||34||26||4||4||76||.559||186||198|
|e – San Diego Gulls (ANA)||68||36||28||3||1||76||.559||202||197|
|e – Stockton Heat (CGY)||68||34||28||2||4||74||.544||211||204|
|e – Bakersfield Condors (EDM)||68||31||27||9||1||72||.529||188||206|
|e – San Antonio Rampage (COL)||76||35||31||10||0||80||.526||198||219|
The following players are sorted by points, then goals. Updated as of April 15, 2018.
|Chris Terry||Laval Rocket||62||32||39||71||45|
|Phil Varone||Lehigh Valley Phantoms||74||23||47||70||36|
|Austin Czarnik||Providence Bruins||64||25||44||69||24|
|Mason Appleton||Manitoba Moose||76||22||44||66||57|
|Daniel Sprong||Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins||65||32||33||65||28|
|Teemu Pulkkinen||Chicago Wolves||75||29||36||65||44|
|Ben Street||Grand Rapids Griffins||73||21||44||65||22|
|Eric Tangradi||Grand Rapids Griffins||74||31||33||64||51|
|Cal O'Reilly||Iowa Wild||75||15||49||64||10|
|Curtis Valk||Springfield Thunderbirds||73||20||42||62||41|
GP = Games played; TOI = Time on ice (in minutes); SA = Shots against; GA = Goals against; SO = Shutouts; GAA = Goals against average; SV% = Save percentage; W = Wins; L = Losses; OT = Overtime/shootout loss
|Garret Sparks||Toronto Marlies||43||2507:04||1181||75||6||1.79||.936||31||9||2|
|Jordan Binnington||Providence Bruins||28||1605:53||744||55||1||2.05||.926||17||9||1|
|Michael Hutchinson||Manitoba Moose||26||1560:32||831||54||2||2.08||.935||17||5||4|
|Adin Hill||Tucson Roadrunners||36||1949:57||863||74||5||2.28||.914||19||11||4|
Calder Cup playoffsEdit
The 2018 Calder Cup playoffs format was retained from the divisional format of the 2017 Calder Cup playoffs. The playoff format was finalized at the Annual Board of Governors meeting that took place July 2017. During the regular season, teams receive two points for a win and one point for an overtime or shootout loss. The top four teams in each division ranked by points percentage (points earned divided by points available) qualify for the 2017 Calder Cup playoffs.
The 2018 Calder Cup playoffs features a divisional playoff format, leading to conference finals and ultimately the Calder Cup finals. The division semifinals are best-of-five series; all subsequent rounds are best-of-seven.
|Division semifinals||Division finals||Conference finals||Calder Cup final|
First All-Star Team
- Garret Sparks (G) – Toronto
- Jacob MacDonald (D) – Binghamton
- Sami Niku (D) – Manitoba
- Mason Appleton (F) – Manitoba
- Chris Terry (F) – Laval
- Phil Varone (F) – Lehigh Valley
Second All-Star Team
- Michael Hutchinson (G) – Manitoba
- T. J. Brennan (D) – Lehigh Valley
- Zach Redmond (D) – Rochester
- Austin Czarnik (F) – Providence
- Andreas Johnsson (F) – Toronto
- Ben Smith (F) – Toronto
- "AHL BOARD OF GOVERNORS ANNUAL MEETING CONCLUDES". AHL. July 6, 2017.
- "2017-18 AHL ALIGNMENT ANNOUNCED". AHL. May 11, 2017.
- "Las Vegas Will Have AHL Affiliate By Christmas, Share ECHL Team". Sin Bin. August 24, 2016.
- "Bill Foley considers options for minor league affiliates for his NHL team". Las Vegas Review-Journal. June 23, 2016.
- "Bill Foley seeks minor-league affiliate for Las Vegas NHL team". Las Vegas Review-Journal. September 26, 2016.
- "American Hockey League president talks scheduling, expansion, All-Stars, etc". The Press-Enterprise. February 11, 2017.
- "Report: Blues AHL affiliation to move to Kansas City". KMOV. November 30, 2016.
- "Missouri Mavericks Deny Reports on AHL and Kansas City". Arena Digest. December 2, 2016.
- "Blue Notes: Reaves moving to third line, at least to start". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. January 30, 2017.
- "Colorado Eagles moving to AHL to become top Avalanche affiliate". Fort Collins Coloradoan. October 10, 2017.
- "AHL AWARDS EXPANSION MEMBERSHIP TO COLORADO EAGLES". American Hockey League. October 10, 2017.
- "Sens Owner Purchases AHL Team Partners W/ Belleville". Ottawa Senators. September 26, 2016.
- "Canadiens moving AHL affiliate to Laval in 17-18". AHL. 11 July 2016. Archived from the original on 12 July 2016. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
- "New Laval AHL team will be known as the Rocket". CJAD. September 8, 2016.
- "IceCaps Seek New Hockey Partner". OurSports Central. 11 July 2016.
- "WOLVES, GOLDEN KNIGHTS ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP". AHL. May 16, 2017.
- "Armstrong statement on AHL affiliation". St. Louis Blues. May 16, 2017.
- "AHL Standings". AHL. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
- "Player Stats TheAHL.com". AHL.
- "Top Goalies - 2017-18 Regular Season - Goals Against Average". AHL.
- "2017-18 American Hockey League First and Second All-Star Teams Named". AHL. April 5, 2018.
- "2017-18 AHL All-Rookie Team Named". AHL. April 5, 2018.