Between October and April, ice hockey fans put away any last thoughts of summer to tune in to the latest instalment of the American Hockey League, which brings together top talent from the USA and Canada. But for those lucky enough to get their hands on American Hockey League - AHL Tickets, there’s the opportunity to see the action so close to the rink you can almost feel the collisions. Something of a younger sibling to the NHL, but with its own impressive pedigree, the AHL is drawing some of the biggest crowds in its history, and for good reason.
American Hockey League background
The American Hockey League was formed out of the amalgamation of the Can-Am League and the first International Hockey League in 1936. Each team is affiliated to a National Hockey League team, providing the young, emerging talent that will one day make it to the NHL. Of the 30 AHL teams, 27 are from the US and three from Canada, so fans who buy their tickets have plenty of opportunity to see match-ups that keep that famous North American rivalry going strong. The season culminates in the Calder Cup playoffs in April, with the All-Star game in late January/early February.
American Hockey League moments
Throughout its proud history, the American Hockey League has constantly innovated to keep the fans satisfied. The league extended to four divisions in 2015-16, with the addition of a Pacific division incorporating five teams from California. Those with an eye for history, though, hold a special affection for the Hershey Bears, founded in 1938 and the longest playing member of the league still in its original city. Of course, what would ice hockey be without statistics? Fans can anticipate another onslaught on the record books, waiting to see if any team will beat the record for the most successive AHL championships, set by the Springfield Indians from 1959 to 1962, or three straight AHL scoring titles, held by the legendary Bill Sweeney.
Records to be beaten
The largest crowd in AHL history stands at 45,653 fans, set in 2012 between the Adirondack Phantoms and the Hershey Bears in Philadelphia. Who knows, you could be part of the next record-breaking crowd if you have tickets to the right game. Alternatively, you might find yourself at an outdoor game. The first was held in 2009-10 when the Syracuse Crunch met the Binghamton Senators. And when the NHL goes through one of its occasional lockouts, the AHL welcomes any fans in need of a game to watch. A staggering 7.1 million fans watched AFL games in 2004-5. You could be one of them soon. If you're a true fan, October can't come soon enough!