The Rochester Americans released the schedule format for the 2010-2011 and it’s just what was expected, see the same teams yet again. The league has expanded to 30 teams but most teams, like the Amerks, will only play against about 13 of them.
One bright spot is that the Amerks will play twice against the Worcester Sharks, once at home and once on the road. At least there’s one different team on the schedule.
There are no games against Western Division teams at all. The only team in the Atlantic Division the Amerks will play is the Sharks.
The biggest obstacle in place is obviously travel expenses, teams want to minimize the costs by having to fly as little as possible. But at the same time, how does it make any sense that a team plays one team 10 times and another 8 times and neither team is in the same division?
Yes, it can add to a rivalry with some teams but it gets tiring after a while. I’ve heard from a lot of average fans (only a few games a season), “anytime I decide to go to a game it’s always against the same team.” The American Hockey League prides itself on being the development league of the NHL but does not embrace that in it’s scheduling. There are fans everywhere of different NHL teams and they would have interest in seeing prospects of those teams but it’s not possible.
It’s the same thing year after year so in a way there’s no surprises and complaining is just wasting energy.
Here’s the way the schedule will look versus opposing teams:
10 – Hamilton Bulldogs
10 – Syracuse Crunch
8 – Lake Erie Monsters
8 – Toronto Marlies
8 – Manitoba Moose
8 – Binghamton Senators
6 – Grand Rapids Griffins
4 – Abbotsford Heat
4 – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
4 – Hershey Bears
4 – Adriondack Phantoms
4 – Albany Devils
2 – Worcester Sharks
The full schedule will be out in early August, after the NBA releases their schedule.