Low bridge, everybody down: Syracuse to the Northeast

You’re the AHL’s Board of Governors. You know massive change is coming in the next year, maybe two. You’ve got a division alignment that has worked OK for the past three seasons. You’ve got one major franchise relocation that wouldn’t mind staying where it (roughly) was, alignment-wise. You’ve got one minor franchise relocation that really has to go into the middle of its local rivals.

Today’s minor swaps punt to next year and should work fine (as Jason Chaimovitch is fond of reminding us every year at this time, division alignment does not equal schedule format in this league). Bridgeport, Hartford, Springfield and Albany in the Berkshire League lose the Adirondack Phantoms — Lehigh Valley joins the WBS Pens, Hershey, Norfolk and Binghamton in the East — and gain Syracuse. The geography’s barely gerrymandered.

Keeping the new Adirondack in the Rumored Conference rotates Iowa to the West to replace Abbotsford, Lake Erie to the Midwest to replace Iowa and the Flames to the North with Utica, Rochester, Hamilton and Toronto.

Meanwhile, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews get eight-year, $84 million extensions, and your mission, should you choose to accept it: Figure out what they’d get in a world without a salary cap.

Michael Fornabaio