Taylor as Texas Assistant Made Official; AHL Divisions Announced

(Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
Collecting a few stories here in one quick post. First of all, the Texas Stars made the hiring of Karl Taylor official yesterday afternoon, announcing that the Winterhawks assistant would be joining Derek Laxdal in Cedar Park next season. Laxdal's Oil Kings and Taylor's Winterhawks battled for the WHL championship in the finals this year. 100 Degree Hockey first reported the expected and now confirmed hiring on Monday.

Additionally, the AHL has announced the league's divisional format for next season. The Stars will once again see their division-mates change as Abbotsford departed British Columbia for Adirondack. The former Houston Aeros, now the Iowa Wild, join in their place, reuniting the short-lived South Division from 2012-13.

Here's the full division lineup with discussion after:
Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division
Manchester Monarchs (Los Angeles)
Portland Pirates (Arizona)
Providence Bruins (Boston)
St. John’s IceCaps (Winnipeg)
Worcester Sharks (San Jose)

Northeast Division
Albany Devils (New Jersey)
Bridgeport Sound Tigers (N.Y. Islanders)
Hartford Wolf Pack (N.Y. Rangers)
Springfield Falcons (Columbus)
Syracuse Crunch (Tampa Bay)

East Division
Binghamton Senators (Ottawa)
Hershey Bears (Washington)
Lehigh Valley Phantoms (Philadelphia)
Norfolk Admirals (Anaheim)
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (Pittsburgh)

Western Conference 
North Division
Adirondack Flames (Calgary)
Hamilton Bulldogs (Montreal)
Rochester Americans (Buffalo)
Toronto Marlies (Toronto)
Utica Comets (Vancouver)

Midwest Division
Chicago Wolves (St. Louis)
Grand Rapids Griffins (Detroit)
Lake Erie Monsters (Colorado)
Milwaukee Admirals (Nashville)
Rockford IceHogs (Chicago)

West Division
Charlotte Checkers (Carolina)
Iowa Wild (Minnesota)
Oklahoma City Barons (Edmonton)
San Antonio Rampage (Florida)
Texas Stars (Dallas)

A few notes:

  • The West's North Division members will never have to step foot on a plane to get to a divisional game with Adirondack in their division now. Nice setup.
  • Lake Erie makes the Midwest division's road trip a little longer, moving their center to the East a bit as they replace Iowa
  • Adirondack, which is further East than about half the Eastern Conference, is in the West. It's a stopgap until things move West in 2015-16 for sure.