As we continue to make our way through the 2021 NHL season, the American Hockey League is already planning for next season.
On Monday, the AHL released details on divisional alignment, schedule, and playoff format for the 2021-2022 season, as the league hopes for a more normal campaign than the one it had last season.
Per a team press release, the Providence Bruins will return to Atlantic Division play next season, with seven other opponents in that division:
- Lehigh Valley
There will be a total of 15 teams on the Eastern Conference, and the P-Bruins will play a 72-game schedule.
(I shouldn’t have to say it at this point, but will add: this is all subject to change.)
The P-Bruins are slated to return to Providence this season as well, with the team planning to return to the Dunkin Donuts Center (adios, Marlboro).
Tentatively, the P-Bruins will open the 2021-2022 season on Saturday, October 16; the time and opponent have yet to be determined.
The team also announced a smattering of five other game dates spread across October, November, January, and March; why the P-Bruins know they’ll be playing on those dates, but don’t know any others, is a mystery.
I can’t help but wonder (and this is pure speculation) if the AHL isn’t sure of which teams will be fully solvent or will be able to resume a full season’s worth of games when the puck drops on the 2021-2022 season.
Ideally, the P-Bruins get a full slate under their belts and the B’s prospects get a chance to continue their development.