STOCKTON, Calif. – The Stockton Heat and American Hockey League announced Monday that the Heat, proud AHL affiliate of the Calgary Flames, will be returning to the Pacific Division in 2021-22.
Stockton will be joined by Abbotsford (Vancouver Canucks), Bakersfield (Edmonton Oilers), Colorado (Colorado Avalanche), Henderson (Vegas Golden Knights), Ontario (Los Angeles Kings), San Diego (Anaheim Ducks), San Jose (San Jose Sharks) and Tucson (Arizona Coyotes) in the nine-team division.
Along with the Pacific Division, the Western Conference will also include a seven-team Central Division comprised of Chicago (Carolina Hurricanes), Grand Rapids (Detroit Red Wings), Iowa (Minnesota Wild), Manitoba (Winnipeg Jets), Milwaukee (Nashville Predators), Rockford (Chicago Blackhawks) and Texas (Dallas Stars).
The Eastern Conference features the Atlantic and North groupings, with the Atlantic including Bridgeport (New York Islanders), Charlotte (Florida Panthers), Hartford (New York Rangers), Hershey (Washington Capitals), Lehigh Valley (Philadelphia Flyers), Providence (Boston Bruins), Springfield (St. Louis Blues) and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (Pittsburgh Penguins) and the North claiming Belleville (Ottawa Senators), Cleveland (Columbus Blue Jackets), Laval (Montreal Canadiens), Rochester (Buffalo Sabres), Syracuse (Tampa Bay Lightning), Toronto (Toronto Maple Leafs) and Utica (New Jersey Devils).
It will be a return to Stockton and the Pacific Division for the Heat, who temporarily relocated to Calgary for the 2020-21 season due to cross-border travel complications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pacific Division teams will play a 68-game schedule in 2021-22 while Atlantic, North and Central clubs had the option to play 76 or 72 games. All AHL teams will skate in 72 contests starting in 2022-23.
The full schedule for Stockton’s 2021-22 campaign, including game dates, times and promotions, will be announced later this summer.