1996–97 AHL season

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The 1996–97 AHL season was the 61st season of the American Hockey League. The league renames its divisions due to relocating teams. The Northern Conferences consists of the Atlantic Division becoming the Canadian Division, and the Central Division becoming the Empire State Division. The Southern Conferences consists of the North Division becoming the New England Division, and the South Division becoming the Mid-Atlantic Division.

Eighteen teams played 80 games each in the schedule. The Philadelphia Phantoms finished first overall in the regular season. The Hershey Bears won their eighth Calder Cup championship.

Team changes[edit]

Final standings[edit]

Note: GP = Games played; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; OTL = Overtime losses; GF = Goals for; GA = Goals against; Pts = Points;

Northern Conference[edit]

Canadian GP W L T OTL Pts GF GA
St. John's Maple Leafs (TOR) 80 36 28 10 6 88 265 264
Saint John Flames (CGY) 80 28 36 13 3 72 237 269
Hamilton Bulldogs (EDM) 80 28 39 9 4 69 220 276
Fredericton Canadiens (MTL) 80 26 44 8 2 62 234 283
Empire State GP W L T OTL Pts GF GA
Rochester Americans (BUF) 80 40 30 9 1 90 298 257
Adirondack Red Wings (DET/TB) 80 38 28 12 2 90 258 249
Albany River Rats (NJ) 80 38 28 9 5 90 269 231
Syracuse Crunch (VAN) 80 32 38 10 0 74 241 265
Binghamton Rangers (NYR) 80 27 38 13 2 69 245 300

Southern Conference[edit]

New England GP W L T OTL Pts GF GA
Worcester IceCats (STL/OTT) 80 43 23 9 5 100 256 234
Springfield Falcons (HFD/PHX) 80 41 25 12 2 96 268 229
Portland Pirates (WAS) 80 37 26 10 7 91 279 264
Providence Bruins (BOS) 80 35 40 3 2 75 262 289
Mid-Atlantic GP W L T OTL Pts GF GA
Philadelphia Phantoms (PHI) 80 49 18 10 3 111 325 230
Hershey Bears (COL) 80 43 22 10 5 101 273 220
Kentucky Thoroughblades (SJ) 80 36 35 9 0 81 278 284
Baltimore Bandits (ANA) 80 30 37 10 3 73 251 285
Carolina Monarchs (FLA) 80 28 43 4 5 65 273 303

Scoring leaders[edit]

Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; PIM = Penalty minutes

Player Team GP G A Pts PIM
Peter White Philadelphia Phantoms 80 44 61 105 28
Terry Yake Rochester Americans 78 34 67 101 77
Brian Wiseman St. John's Maple Leafs 71 33 62 95 83
Vaclav Prospal Philadelphia Phantoms 63 32 63 95 70
Patrik Juhlin Philadelphia Phantoms 78 31 60 91 24
Alexei Lojkin Fredericton Canadiens 79 33 56 89 41
Gilbert Dionne Carolina Monarchs 72 41 47 88 69
Blair Atcheynum Hershey Bears 77 42 45 87 57
Jan Caloun Kentucky Thoroughblades 66 43 43 86 68
Shawn McCosh Philadelphia Phantoms 79 30 51 81 110

Calder Cup playoffs[edit]

Division Semifinals Division Finals Conference Finals Calder Cup Final
                       
C1 St. John's 3
E5 Binghamton 1
C1 St. John's 3
Canadian Division
C3 Hamilton 4
C2 Saint John 2
C3 Hamilton 3
C3 Hamilton 4
Northern Conference
E3 Albany 1
E1 Rochester 3
E4 Syracuse 0
E1 Rochester 3
Empire State Division
E3 Albany 4
E2 Adirondack 1
E3 Albany 3
C3 Hamilton 1
M2 Hershey 4
N1 Worcester 2
N4 Providence 3
N4 Providence 1
New England Division
N2 Springfield 4
N2 Springfield 3
N3 Portland 2
N2 Springfield 3
Southern Conference
M2 Hershey 4
M1 Philadelphia 3
M4 Baltimore 0
M1 Philadelphia 3
Mid-Atlantic Division
M2 Hershey 4
M2 Hershey 3
M3 Kentucky 1

All Star Classic[edit]

The 10th AHL All-Star Game was played on January 16, 1997, at the Harbour Station in Saint John, New Brunswick. Team World defeated Team Canada 3-2 in a shootout. In the skills competition held the day before the All-Star Game, Team World won 18-9 over Team Canada. [1]

Trophy and award winners[edit]

Team awards[edit]

Calder Cup
Playoff champions:
Hershey Bears
Richard F. Canning Trophy
Northern Conference playoff champions:
Hamilton Bulldogs
Robert W. Clarke Trophy
Southern Conference playoff champions:
Hershey Bears
Frank Mathers Trophy
Regular season champions, Mid-Atlantic Division:
Philadelphia Phantoms
F. G. "Teddy" Oke Trophy
Regular season champions, New England Division:
Worcester IceCats
Sam Pollock Trophy
Regular season champions, Canadian Division:
St. John's Maple Leafs
John D. Chick Trophy
Regular season champions, Empire State Division:
Rochester Americans

Individual awards[edit]

Les Cunningham Award
Most valuable player:
Jean-Francois Labbe - Hershey Bears
John B. Sollenberger Trophy
Top point scorer:
Peter White - Philadelphia Phantoms
Dudley "Red" Garrett Memorial Award
Rookie of the year:
Jaroslav Svejkovsky - Portland Pirates
Eddie Shore Award
Defenceman of the year:
Darren Rumble - Philadelphia Phantoms
Aldege "Baz" Bastien Memorial Award
Best goaltender:
Jean-Francois Labbe - Hershey Bears
Harry "Hap" Holmes Memorial Award
Lowest goals against average:
Jean-Francois Labbe - Hershey Bears
Louis A. R. Pieri Memorial Award
Coach of the year:
Greg Gilbert - Worcester IceCats
Fred T. Hunt Memorial Award
Sportsmanship / Perseverance:
Steve Passmore - Hamilton Bulldogs
Jack A. Butterfield Trophy
MVP of the playoffs:
Mike McHugh - Hershey Bears

Other awards[edit]

James C. Hendy Memorial Award
Most outstanding executive:
Jay Feaster, Hershey Bears
James H. Ellery Memorial Awards
Outstanding media coverage:
Lindsay Kramer, Syracuse, (newspaper)
Aaron Kennedy, Saint John, (radio)
Jim Ogle, Kentucky, (television)
Ken McKenzie Award
Outstanding marketing executive:
Glenn Stanford, St. John's Maple Leafs & Carole Appleton, Springfield Falcons

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Preceded by
1995–96 AHL season
AHL seasons Succeeded by
1997–98 AHL season