1996–97 AHL season

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.

1996-97 AHL season
LeagueAmerican Hockey League
SportIce hockey
Regular season
F. G. "Teddy" Oke TrophyWorcester IceCats
Season MVPJean-Francois Labbe
Top scorerPeter White
Calder Cup playoffs
Calder Cup playoffs MVPMike McHugh
Finals championsHershey Bears
  Runners-upHamilton Bulldogs

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 changes

Final standings

Note: GP = Games played; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; OTL = Overtime losses; GF = Goals for; GA = Goals against; Pts = Points;

Northern Conference

Canadian GP W L T OTL Pts GF GA
St. John's Maple Leafs (TOR)80362810688265264
Saint John Flames (CGY)80283613372237269
Hamilton Bulldogs (EDM)8028399469220276
Fredericton Canadiens (MTL)8026448262234283
Empire State GP W L T OTL Pts GF GA
Rochester Americans (BUF)8040309190298257
Adirondack Red Wings (DET/TB)80382812290258249
Albany River Rats (NJ)8038289590269231
Syracuse Crunch (VAN)80323810074241265
Binghamton Rangers (NYR)80273813269245300

Southern Conference

New England GP W L T OTL Pts GF GA
Worcester IceCats (STL/OTT)80432395100256234
Springfield Falcons (HFD/PHX)80412512296268229
Portland Pirates (WAS)80372610791279264
Providence Bruins (BOS)8035403275262289
Mid-Atlantic GP W L T OTL Pts GF GA
Philadelphia Phantoms (PHI)804918103111325230
Hershey Bears (COL)804322105101273220
Kentucky Thoroughblades (SJ)8036359081278284
Baltimore Bandits (ANA)80303710373251285
Carolina Monarchs (FLA)8028434565273303

Scoring leaders

Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; PIM = Penalty minutes

Player Team GP G A Pts PIM
Peter WhitePhiladelphia Phantoms80446110528
Terry YakeRochester Americans78346710177
Brian WisemanSt. John's Maple Leafs7133629583
Vaclav ProspalPhiladelphia Phantoms6332639570
Patrik JuhlinPhiladelphia Phantoms7831609124
Alexei LojkinFredericton Canadiens7933568941
Gilbert DionneCarolina Monarchs7241478869
Blair AtcheynumHershey Bears7742458757
Jan CalounKentucky Thoroughblades6643438668
Shawn McCoshPhiladelphia Phantoms79305181110

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

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.

Trophy and award winners

Team awards

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 awards

Les Cunningham Award
Most valuable player:
Jean-Francois LabbeHershey Bears
John B. Sollenberger Trophy
Top point scorer:
Peter WhitePhiladelphia Phantoms
Dudley "Red" Garrett Memorial Award
Rookie of the year:
Jaroslav SvejkovskyPortland Pirates
Eddie Shore Award
Defenceman of the year:
Darren RumblePhiladelphia Phantoms
Aldege "Baz" Bastien Memorial Award
Best goaltender:
Jean-Francois LabbeHershey Bears
Harry "Hap" Holmes Memorial Award
Lowest goals against average:
Jean-Francois LabbeHershey Bears
Louis A. R. Pieri Memorial Award
Coach of the year:
Greg GilbertWorcester IceCats
Fred T. Hunt Memorial Award
Sportsmanship / Perseverance:
Steve PassmoreHamilton Bulldogs
Jack A. Butterfield Trophy
MVP of the playoffs:
Mike McHughHershey Bears

Other awards

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


Preceded by
1995–96 AHL season
AHL seasons Succeeded by
1997–98 AHL season
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