BY RYAN ABER
The American Hockey League released its realigned divisions Wednesday and, as expected, the Oklahoma City Barons are in the West Division of the Western Conference.
The alignment keeps the Barons, the first-year AHL affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers, in the division with their closest opponents.
The rest of the division features the Chicago Wolves (Atlanta Thrashers affiliate), Houston Aeros (Minnesota Wild), Milwaukee Admirals (Nashville Predators), Peoria Rivermen (St. Louis Blues), Rockford IceHogs (Chicago Blackhawks), San Antonio Rampage (Phoenix Coyotes) and Texas Stars (Dallas Stars). The Stars were the Calder Cup runners-up this season, losing to the Hershey Bears earlier in the week.
The North Division of the conference features Abbotsford, Grand Rapids, Hamilton, Lake Erie, Manitoba, Rochester and Toronto.
The Barons open the home portion of their season Oct. 9 at the Cox Center.