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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 ChangesEdit

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 ConferenceEdit

Canadian GP W L T OTL Pts GF GA
St. John's Maple Leafs 80 36 2810 6 88265264
Saint John Flames 80 28 3613 3 72237269
Hamilton Bulldogs 802839 9 4 69220276
Fredericton Canadiens 80 26 44 8 2 62234283
Empire State GP W L T OTL Pts GF GA
Rochester Americans 80 40 30 9 1 90 298 257
Adirondack Red Wings 80 38 2812 2 90 258 249
Albany River Rats 80 38 28 9 5 90 269 231
Syracuse Crunch 80 32 3810 0 74 241 265
Binghamton Rangers 80 27 3813 2 69 245 300

Southern ConferenceEdit

New England GP W L T OTL Pts GF GA
Worcester IceCats 80 43 23 9 5100 256 234
Springfield Falcons 80 41 2512 2 96 268 229
Portland Pirates 80 37 2610 7 91 279 264
Providence Bruins 80 35 40 3 2 75 262 289
Mid-Atlantic GP W L T OTL Pts GF GA
Philadelphia Phantoms 80 49 1810 3111325230
Hershey Bears 80 43 2210 5101273220
Kentucky Thoroughblades 80 36 35 9 0 81278284
Baltimore Bandits 80 30 3710 3 73251285
Carolina Monarchs 80 28 43 4 5 65273303

Scoring LeadersEdit

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 61105 28
Terry Yake Rochester Americans 78 34 67101 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 81110

Calder Cup PlayoffsEdit

Main article: 1997 Calder Cup Playoffs
  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 AwardsEdit

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 AwardsEdit

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

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