There will be a new division in the American Hockey League's Western Conference for the 2013-14 season to go along with two new teams, the league announced Thursday.
The West Division replaces the previously named South among the six divisions in the approved league alignment. The 15 teams in the Eastern Conference remain in the same division from 2012-13, but there will be some shuffling to accommodate two new franchises in the Western Conference.
AHL hockey will return to Utica, N.Y., for the first time in 20 years when the Utica Comets drop the puck on the 2013-14 season. The Comets, which will be the Vancouver Canucks' affiliate, are in the North Division along with Rochester, Lake Erie, Toronto and Hamilton. The Comets replaced the Peoria Rivermen as the league's 30th franchise.