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Today in the "A": Schedule Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

The AHL recently set forth a new scheduling initiative which will take place next season. Largely unheard of in the world of pro sports, the league will reduce the number of regular season games to 76 from the current 80.

If you'll remember some of my holiday week laments from this past season, you'll remember the hellacious runs of games the Falcons faced. Three games in three days is a way of life in the A, but with this new schedule modification, gone are the runs of four games in five days.

Further, to allow the players more time to recover, the regular season will be extended by one week. Again, fewer games in more time makes sense. After all, the AHL proudly boasts of the fact that 80% of its graduates go on to the NHL. Why not give them a chance to heal their bodies?

Finally, the first round of the Calder Cup playoffs next season will also be reduced. This time from the current best of seven format, down to a best of five. Of the new initiatives, this is the one that I like the least. I think the way a seven game series can build is quite different (as is the strategy involved) than in a shorter series.

Later today on The Cannon, be sure to check out my Draft Profile of Dougie Hamilton of the Niagara IceDogs.