by Michael Lowrey
OK, I doubt anyone would say that Charlotte is anywhere near the center of the United States or the United States plus Canada, but the Checkers being in the Central is a bit more logical than, say, that having the Atlanta Braves in the National League’s Western Division, as was the case back in the day. Or most of the Checkers’ recent divisional shifts:
The Central will be the fifth division the Checkers have called home in six seasons since joining the AHL prior to the 2010-11 campaign. They have also played in the Eastern Conference as a member of the East Division (2010-11) and in the Western Conference as members of the Midwest (2011-12), South (2012-13) and West (2013-15) Divisions.
The Checkers’ new divisional rivals will be the Chicago Wolves, Grand Rapids Griffins, Iowa Wild, Lake Erie Monsters, Manitoba Moose, Milwaukee Admirals, and Rockford IceHogs. None of those teams are anywhere near Charlotte, so the Checkers will be logging lots of travel miles. Regardless of divisional assignment, that was given, though, as there aren’t any AHL teams actually near Charlotte.
Bonus thought: Bring on the Moose! Love that team name. (This was the team that played in St. John’s Newfoundland last year.)