AHL Read This: AHL Pacific Division Becomes Official, Reaction From Around the Country

A look into the world of the American Hockey League outside of just the normal game re-caps.

AHL Pacific Division Becomes Official

Dave Andrews holds up an American Hockey League jersey along with the 5 NHL teams moving their AHL teams to California.
(Photo By – Taylor Rush)

AHL approves formation of Pacific Division

The AHL.com – January 29th, 2015

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … American Hockey League President and CEO David Andrews announced today that the league’s Board of Governors has formally and unanimously approved the steps necessary to create a Pacific Division within the AHL beginning with the 2015-16 season.

The Board has approved the following:

• The Anaheim Ducks will purchase the Norfolk Admirals AHL franchise and will relocate it from Norfolk, Va., to San Diego, Calif.

• The AHL franchise owned by the Calgary Flames will relocate from Glens Falls, N.Y., to Stockton, Calif. 

• The AHL franchise owned by the Edmonton Oilers will relocate from Oklahoma City, Okla., to Bakersfield, Calif. 

• The AHL franchise owned by the Los Angeles Kings will relocate from Manchester, N.H., to Ontario, Calif.

• The AHL franchise owned by the San Jose Sharks will relocate from Worcester, Mass., to San Jose, Calif. Read More…

AHL out the door: Calgary moves affiliate to new Pacific Division

Brad Treliving, general manager of the Calgary Flames, appreciates the support from the fans of Glens Falls, but his team is moving on at the AHL level.

The AHL announced the creation of the expected Pacific Division at a news conference in San Jose on Thursday. Glens Falls, Manchester, N.H., Worcester, Mass., Norfolk, Va., and Oklahoma City are all losing their teams to the California dream. They will move to Stockton, Ontario, San Jose, San Diego and Bakersfield, respectively.

Calgary is not fully pulling out of Glens Falls. The Adirondack Flames are holding a news conference on Friday where they will announce the ECHL is coming to town, according to sources close to the team. ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna will be present.

While the executives from both the AHL and NHL and from each of the five NHL teams trumpeted what this means for hockey in California and development for the NHL teams, Treliving also acknowledged the down side. Read More…

Monarchs’ move a ‘growth opportunity’

By John Habib | Union Leader

It’s official.

The American Hockey League announced the Los Angeles Kings will be moving their AHL affiliate team, the Manchester Monarchs, to Ontario, Calif., for the start of the 2015-16 season.

In return, the Kings will send their East Coast Hockey League team, the Ontario Reign, to Manchester to begin their season next fall at Verizon Wireless Arena.

The Monarchs have scheduled a news conference for today at 3 p.m. at the arena to officially announce their departure from the Granite State.

Brian McKenna, commissioner of the East Coast Hockey League, will attend today’s news conference to announce the arrival of the Reign. The Monarchs and the Reign are both owned by Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), along with the Kings. Read More…

Worcester Sharks make move west official

What will the hockey scene be like after the Sharks move the team from Worcester, MA to San Jose, CA next season? (Photo By: Bob Howard)

What will the hockey scene be like after the Sharks move the team from Worcester, MA to San Jose, CA next season?
(Photo By: Bob Howard)

By Bill Ballou | Telegram & Gazette

WORCESTER — Those loose ends that have prevented the American Hockey League from officially announcing the formation of its Pacific Division?

Apparently, they were window, or aisle seats.

Less than 72 hours after the league’s All-Star Classic in suburban Utica concluded, the AHL and NHL held a joint press conference in San Jose announcing that, yes indeed, Worcester, Adirondack, Norfolk, Oklahoma City and Manchester are all moving to California for the 2015-16 season.

The new Pacific Division will include San Jose from Worcester, Bakersfield from Oklahoma City, San Diego from Norfolk, Stockton from Adirondack and Ontario from Manchester. The former Worcester Sharks will share the SAP Center with the NHL ones. The AHL team’s name has yet to be determined.

San Diego is the only one of the five new cities with experience in minor league hockey at the Triple-A level. It had a franchise in the old Western Hockey League in the 1960s, one in the International Hockey League, and one in the World Hockey Association. Read More…

California team will replace Admirals in Norfolk

By Jim Hodges | Virginian-Pilot

The East Coast Hockey League commissioner will announce today that three teams will move into cities vacated by the American Hockey League for next season. One of those teams, the Bakersfield (Calif.) Condors, is headed to Norfolk.

The other AHL cities getting ECHL clubs are Glens Falls, N.Y., and Manchester.

Brian McKenna’s announcement will come a day after AHL commissioner Dave Andrews confirmed what The Virginian-Pilot reported Sunday night: the league is establishing a Pacific Division and the Anaheim Ducks will buy the Norfolk Admirals and move the team to San Diego.

Four other AHL teams are moving to California: Manchester (to Ontario), Adirondack (to Stockton), Oklahoma City (to Bakersfield) and Worcester (to San Jose).

Those four already were owned by their parent clubs when the talks of a move west began more than a year ago. Anaheim first approached Admirals’ owner Ken Young about buying the AHL club last summer. He initially resisted, but said he had no choice but eventually bow to pressure from the Ducks, NHL and AHL. Read More…

Adding the Pacific much better for AHL than losing teams

By Kevin Oklobzija | Democrat & Chronicle

What you surely won’t hear, but probably should know, as the American Hockey League’s inaugural Pacific Division becomes reality at a 3:30 p.m. news conference in San Jose:

These Western-based NHL teams were, in all likelihood, going to bring their affiliates closer to “home” with or without the AHL’s blessing.

So either everyone was going to find a way to make it work or there was going to be another “Triple-A” hockey league based entirely on the west coast.

They have made it work, with AHL president Dave Andrews once again playing broker, deal-maker, peace-maker, negotiator, purveyor of common sense and secretary of state, all rolled into one. Read More…

Ducks, Kings to move AHL teams to California

By Eric Stephens | Orange County Register

SAN JOSE — The American Hockey League is blazing a trail to the Golden State and the Ducks and Kings are at the front of the migration to the west.

A long sought after possibility became reality Thursday as the AHL announced that five NHL teams will move their top minor-league clubs to California, with the Ducks putting roots down in San Diego and the Kings making Ontario the site where their top prospects will play hockey.

San Jose will move its AHL team from Worcester, Mass., into the SAP Center, where it will share the facility with the Sharks. Edmonton is moving its top farm club from Oklahoma City to Bakersfield while Calgary is shifting its from Glens Falls, N.Y., to Stockton.

“To use a favorite word of our recently retired Teemu Selanne, this is an unbelievable day for hockey in California, for Anaheim, the organization and the city of San Diego where we’ll be moving to,” Ducks general manager Bob Murray said. Read More…

Calgary Flames farm club heads to Stockton as part of AHL shakeup


Next stop, Stockton.

The Calgary Flames’ farm club is on the move again, this time heading west as part of the American Hockey League’s California invasion.

The AHL officially revealed the plans Thursday for the newly-formed Pacific Division, with five NHL organizations moving their top affiliates to the Golden State for the 2015-16 campaign.

“Our hope now is we can grow some roots,” said Flames GM Brad Treliving. “Our plan is that this is a long-term commitment.”

The Flames’ farm club has had five different homes in the past decade, and that doesn’t even include Stockton, which is located 130 km east of San Francisco and has been home to an ECHL team for the past 10 seasons. The Flames have an agreement to purchase that team. Read More…

AHL announces Pacific Division, but don’t expect Syracuse Crunch to make visit any time soon

By Lindsay Kramer | The Post Standard

The American Hockey League confirmed the formation of a new Pacific Division for the 2015-16 season on Thursday, but such ice will remain uncharted territory for the Syracuse Crunch in the foreseeable future.

AHL owners have a say in who comprises their schedule, but with the league’s increasing emphasis on divisional play Syracuse owner Howard Dolgon said he doesn’t think the Crunch would make a western trip in 2015-16.

“I think it seems like it was a natural progression at some point. From a Syracuse standpoint, we wish them nothing but the best,” Dolgon said of the development in general. “I hope it works well for everybody. I guess we’ll find out.”

Julien BriseBois, assistant general manager of Crunch parent club Tampa Bay, said he’d be in favor of Syracuse dabbling in some western competition. But that’s a two-way street, and BriseBois said the current western AHL teams have balked at making a return trip to the War Memorial.

“I would love to go,” BriseBois said. “But we need the other parties to want to play us as well. That’s my understanding, that they would want to stay out west.” Read More…

AHL’s new Pacific Division to boost hockey in Southland

By Lance Pugmire | LA Times

Certainly there are some financial savings at play, but executives of the Kings and Ducks said the greatest benefit of the American Hockey League’s new Pacific Division announced Thursday is convenience.

Earlier this season in Colorado, the Ducks had goalie coach Dwayne Roloson on the bench in an emergency backup role because Anaheim couldn’t summon a true backup from the AHL affiliate in Norfolk, Va., in time.

Now, as part of a new five-team division that will move the Ducks’ affiliate to San Diego and the Kings’ from Manchester, N.H., to Ontario in the fall, a slew of player-development benefits are available.

“It’s not a money thing,” Ducks Chairman Michael Schulman said. “The players will be better equipped, less tired. You save money because you’ll have a better product on the ice.” Read More…


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Bob Howard

About Bob Howard

Owner/Host of the Power Play Post Show for 10 + years. Credentialed media member in Binghamton with the B-Sens. I have also done color commentary on the B-Sens & Manchester Monarchs radio broadcasts.

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