Also in February 2010, the Johnstown Chiefs, the only member from the original five teams to compete in the league's inaugural season to stay in its original city, announced that they would be relocating to Greenville, South Carolina following the completion of the 2009–10 season. On February 15, 2010, the Greenville Arena District Board announced that they had agreed to a five-year deal to bring the Chiefs to Greenville's BI-LO Center and the ECHL Board of Governors approved the relocation of the Johnstown franchise to Greenville on February 17.
The format for the 2011 Kelly Cup Playoffs remained unchanged from the previous season.
In the Eastern Conference, postseason berths were awarded to the first-place team in each division and the next five teams in the conference, based on points. The division winners were seeded first, second and third and played the eighth-place finisher, the seventh-place finisher and the sixth-place finisher, respectively, while the fourth-place finisher and the fifth-place finisher met. The conference semifinals had the winner of the first-place and eighth-place matchup meet the winner of the fourth-place and fifth-place game while the winner of the second-place and seventh-place game faced the winner of the third-place and sixth-place matchup.
In the Western Conference, postseason berths were awarded to the first-place team in each division and the next five teams in the conference, based on points. The division winner with the best record in the conference received a bye in the first round. The other division winner was seeded second and met the team that finished seventh in the conference in the first round. The other first round matchups were the third-place finisher in the conference against the sixth-place finisher in the conference and the fourth-place finisher in the conference against the fifth-place finisher in the conference. The conference semifinals had the first-place finisher meet the winner of the fourth-place and fifth-place matchup and the winner of the second-place finisher and seventh-place finisher against the winner of the third-place finisher and the sixth-place finisher.
The first round in each Conference was a best of five series with each subsequent round being a best of seven series.