The American Hockey League has announced the official conference and division alignment for the 2009-10 season. The River Rats will again be part of the East Division of the Eastern Conference. There will, however, be some slight changes.
The Rats will welcome their old rival, the Syracuse Crunch, back to the division. Albany and Syracuse are now guaranteed to face-off eight times.
The Crunch will take the place of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, who are set to move to the Atlantic Division. Last year Syracuse was part of the North Division of the Western Conference, which will now include the first-year Abbotsford Heat, formally known as the Quad-City Flames.
The Atlantic Division will be the only division with eight teams. The rest will hold seven.
The Adirondack Phantoms, formally of Philadelphia, will remain in the East Division alongside Albany. The Rats and Phantoms will square off twelve times.
The Rochester Americans are the only opponent the River Rats will play from the Western Conference.
Here is the complete breakdown of the divisions and games against:
Bridgeport Sound Tigers (2 H, 2 A)
Hartford Wolf Pack (1 H, 1 A)
Lowell Devils (1 H, 1 A)
Manchester Monarches (2 H, 2 A)
Portland Pirates (2 H, 2 A)
Providence Bruins (1 H, 1 A)
Springfield Falcons (2 H, 2 A)
Worchester Sharks (1 H, 1 A)
Adirondack Phantoms (6 H, 6 A)
Albany River Rats
Binghamton Senators (4 H, 4 A)
Hershey Bears (4 H, 4 A)
Norfolk Admirals (4 H, 4 A)
Syracuse Crunch (4 H, 4 A)
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (4 H, 4 A)
Grand Rapids Griffins
Lake Erie Monsters
Rochester Americans (2 H, 2 A)
San Antonio Rampage