American Hockey League facts for kids
American Hockey League logo
|Founded||1936 (IHL/C-AHL Interlocking schedules); 1938 (IHL/C-AHL formally merged)|
|No. of teams||31 (32 in 2021)|
The American Hockey League (AHL) is a professional ice hockey league based in the United States and Canada that serves as the primary developmental league for the National Hockey League (NHL). Since the 2010–11 season, every team in the league has an affiliation agreement with one NHL team.
In general, a player must be at least 18 years of age to play in the AHL or not currently be obligated to a junior ice hockey team. The league limits the number of experienced professional players on a team's active roster during any given game; only five skaters can have accumulated four full seasons of play or more at the professional level (goaltenders are exempt from this rule and can stay in the AHL indefinitely without being subject to this cap).
The annual playoff champion is awarded the Calder Cup, named for Frank Calder, the first President (1917–1943) of the NHL.
The formation of an American Hockey League Hall of Fame (AHL Hall of Fame) was announced by the league on December 15, 2005, created to recognize, honor and celebrate individuals for their outstanding achievements and contributions specifically in the AHL.
The American Hockey League first held an All-Star Game in the 1941–42 season. The event was not played again until the 1954–55 season, and was then held yearly until the 1959–60 season. In the 1994–95 season, the AHL revived the events again, and it has been played every season since.
The skills competition was first introduced for the 1995–96 season. From 1996 to 2010, the game took place between a team of players born outside of Canada and a team of players born within Canada. The All-Star Game was replaced by an all-star challenge between the league's divisions from the 2015–16 season onward.
The challenge consists of six round-robin games between the league's divisions; the top two divisions in the challenge's round-robin phase advance to a six-minute championship game. The winning division of the championship game is declared the winner of the all-star challenge.
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American Hockey League Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.