The 2015-16 AHL schedule has finally been released, and here’s the annual Chasing Checkers analysis of it, in a “by the numbers” format.
Editor’s Note: Some of the following numbers come with a healthy dose of sarcasm, but let me assure you, the Checkers schedule is WAY better than some. One California team I analyzed is facing only eight opponents, and only two teams outside of their own division. I’d much rather see 13 opponents and no eastern conference teams than the same six squads over and over again California teams appear to be playing each other 12 times each! Be grateful, Checkers fans. I am!
For a .pdf version of the schedule, head to GoCheckers.com
0 – The number of times Charlotte will face Oklahoma City and Norfolk this year. Previously, the Checkers played nearly one-third of their games against franchises in those two cities, but both moved to California for the 2015 season. I can’t believe there’s #Norfolkingway Charlotte will ever play in Virginia this season…. But I won’t miss those clown barf uniforms!
0 – The number of games the Checkers will play against Eastern Conference Teams, despite being further east than many teams in that conference.
1 – Month in the AHL schedule without a home game for the Checkers. Charlotte will have 10 road games during that time, in a row, facing Iowa, Milwaukee, Chicago, Grand Rapids, Rockford and Lake Erie.
2 – The number of three-in-threes the Checkers will face. Both instances are on the road and feature Grand Rapids/Chicago and Milwaukee/Rockford. This is an all-time-low. Last season, Charlotte had three. In 2013-14, five, and way back in 2012-13, the Checkers had seven three-in-threes
3 – The number of new California teams the Checkers will face this season. Ontario, San Jose and San Diego all made the cut.
3 – Number of eastern conference teams closer to Charlotte than any team in their own Central division (Hershey, Wilkes-Barre and Allentown)
4 – The number of home and away games the Checkers will play against the San Diego Gulls, or how many wagers on who’s team will come out victorius that Chasing Checkers will make against former Checkers staffer Nate Beasley
4 – The number of times we get to hear Oh! Canada at Bojangles Coliseum, when the Manitoba Moose come to Charlotte. (November 7&8 and January 16&17 for those of you keeping track!)
4 – The number of different divisions the Checkers have played in since coming to Charlotte in 2010. Only when they played with a bunch of teams in Texas did the Checkers have largely the same division-mates for more than one season. This seasons “Central” division includes teams in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Iowa, two teams in Illinois, one in Wisconsin, one in Michigan, one in Ohio and of course North Carolina. Based on this not-so-central grouping of teams, I propose the league rename it the “midwest and leftovers” division.
6 – The number of away games Charlotte will play in their own Eastern time zone
6 – Also the number of games the Checkers will play in the Pacific time zone, AKA three hours later than Charlotte is.
6 – The Checkers longest home stand in games, or about two weeks. This will occur five times this season.
10 – The Checkers longest road trip, which will stretch out for the entire first month of the AHL season.
12– The number of different teams the Checkers will face during the 2015-16 season. This is down from 2013-14 and 2014-15 when Charlotte had 13 different opponents.
24 – The number of games the Checkers will have in the Central time zone, which fortunately, is only one hour later.
38 – The number of opportunities to see the Checkers at the amazing and newly renovated Bojangles Coliseum.
56 – The number of games Charlotte will play against Central Division Rivals (exactly eight games per team)
68 – The number of games the new California teams will play during the course of their (shortened) AHL season
76 – The number of games the Checkers (and the majority of the AHL) play during the seven-month season.
515 – The low, low number of miles to the Checkers closest division rival, the Lake Erie Monsters. (And in tanks of gas, one each way thanks to Chasing Checkers awesome new car!)
1673 – Miles to Winnipeg, Manitoba. Home of new division rivals THE Moose (and a lot of moose).
2675 – The number of miles if you wanted to drive to see the Checkers play in San Jose, California.
But the very most important number:
71 – Days until the Checkers home opener against Manitoba!!!!!