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jono2009

Canucks chance to move AHL team to Abbotsford

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Wolves could lose Canucks as affiliate

GM Young working to make sure Wolves won't get lost in shuffle

February 24, 2013|By Paul LaTour, Special to the Tribune

A report from the Utica (N.Y.) Observer-Dispatch may end up having a dramatic effect on the Wolves' immediate future. The newspaper reported Sunday that the Calgary Flames are moving their AHL affiliation from Abbotsford to Utica for the 2013-14 season.

That leaves Abbotsford in play as a possible location for the Canucks affiliation, which would leave the Wolves looking for a new parent organization for the second time in three years. The Wolves and Canucks signed a two-year agreement June 27, 2011.

Because the word is out there, I have had other NHL teams calling me to inquire," Wolves general manager Wendell Young said Sunday between periods of the Wolves' 2-1 loss to Rockford. "I'm holding off because I really don't know what is going on. Until Vancouver tells me they don't want to renew, I still stay interested because I have to have something."

Young said he doesn't want to end up in the same situation as Norfolk, which won the Calder Cup last season while affiliated with Tampa Bay. Soon after the title, the Lightning moved their affiliation to Syracuse.

Ideally, the Wolves would have the opportunity to shop around for the right fit to be their third NHL affiliate since the team joined the AHL in 2001-02.

"I don't want to sit in June or July and (not) have a selection (of parent teams), and I got to take what's left," Young said. "It's getting to be crunch time pretty soon. I don't know what's going and it's frustrating."

Meanwhile, the Wolves' streak of five consecutive games with at least one point was snapped in the loss to the IceHogs. After falling behind 2-0 in the first period, the Wolves failed to get one past Henrik Karlsson until Darren Haydar scored with 28 seconds remaining.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-02-24/sports/ct-spt-0225-wolves-chicago--20130225_1_darren-haydar-wolves-general-manager-wendell-young

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They should move that team in a heartbeat.

I've always wondered how that makes any sense to have a Vancover franchise in Chicago when we're bitter rivals. I mean, I wouldn't pony up cash to go watch Chicago's farm team play.

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The Canucks organization doesn't own an AHL team to move to Abby. They just have an affiliation with the Wolves. They would either have to get an expansion franchise or buy another franchise that's already established or establish a new affiliation and convince them to move.

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Talk about instant financial success for the Heat.

Would be nice to get call-ups quickly. Also, bubble guys could settle in, find a more permanent home, knowing that no matter where they play they'll be within driving distance.

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Ideally couldn't they buy the heat and move Calgary's team out of town?

If they do this, I hope they change the Heat name, logo, etc.

It needs a fresh start!!!

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The wolves and nucks are not a good match plain and simple.

What I don't understand is why in the hell would Calgary go from Abby to Utica? You are in the west and happen to be lucky enough to have a farm team in the west. I bet Abby didn't want to renew to have a shot at the Canucks.

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Don't you hate when you hit quote instead of edit

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Apparently it's not happening...

http://www.news1130.com/2013/02/25/abbotsford-heat-not-moving-to-ny-state-despite-reports/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

BBOTSFORD (NEWS1130) – One media outlet in Utica reported it as iron-clad fact: the Abbotsford Heat would be pulling up stakes for New York State next hockey season.

But the trouble with facts is that sometimes, they’re just not that factual.

The rumour started over the weekend in blog posted on the Utica Observer-Dispatch’s website, which stated the Flames had signed a 10-year deal to bring their AHL affiliate team to the local arena.

It seems plausible; the Abbotsford Heat has had chronically low attendance, among the worst in the league, and the city has been on the hook in a deal that makes taxpayers responsible for any shortfall in profits.

Late last summer, there were also rumours the Vancouver Canucks were interested in snapping up the AHL team.

The first cold water dumped on the current chatter was from Abbotsford Heat president Ryan Walter, who told The Province that nobody from the Flames had spoken with him about relocating the farm team.

The Flames organization then issued a statement denying the rumour and saying how great their current relationship is with the Abbotsford Heat.

Then came the final body check: One of the members of the board that oversees the arena in Utica told the media the story is false — they have approached a number of teams about bringing the AHL back to the city and whole thing was taken out of context.

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stay tuned, i don't think this is the last we have heard of this story.

attendence is horrible in abbotsford. sure you have the few die hard heat fans. but at the end of the day, fans come to see canucks prospects......not cheer for the flames farm team.

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You don't want your farm team in your own back yard.

Having a team in Chicago actually makes good sense as it means if we have to call up any of our contracted players its not the case that they are flying the whole way across the continent and means no matter where the canucks are they can get hold of their players.

hypothetical example - AHL team was in Abbotsford - canucks were on the road in the south east - could we get a player there in time on short notice. However with a fairly centrally located team this doesnt become an issue.

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it definitley has its pros and cons......if it doesn't happen, the heat will continue to flush down the toilet

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A few things are holding a deal up. The owner of the building in Abbotsford has a sweet heart deal, as does the team. If the team is in Abbotsford, they break even or the tax payers pay the losses. The owner of the building would have to be offered something substantial to sell the building (to Aquilini).

Also, the Flames are tied into a 10 year contract with the Abbotsford ownership group. 7 years left of financial stability is a difficult think to walk away from.

It can happen, but there is lots of red tape, hoops to jump through and all other business cliches.

On a side note, Aquilinis continue to purchase cattle head and look for other quota in the Abbotsford/Chilliwack area. The most millionaires per capita in Canada. Not a bad place to do business, especially when you have a lions share of the market related to hockey if you could get your farm team there.

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You don't want your farm team in your own back yard.

Having a team in Chicago actually makes good sense as it means if we have to call up any of our contracted players its not the case that they are flying the whole way across the continent and means no matter where the canucks are they can get hold of their players.

hypothetical example - AHL team was in Abbotsford - canucks were on the road in the south east - could we get a player there in time on short notice. However with a fairly centrally located team this doesnt become an issue.

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You don't want your farm team in your own back yard.

Having a team in Chicago actually makes good sense as it means if we have to call up any of our contracted players its not the case that they are flying the whole way across the continent and means no matter where the canucks are they can get hold of their players.

hypothetical example - AHL team was in Abbotsford - canucks were on the road in the south east - could we get a player there in time on short notice. However with a fairly centrally located team this doesnt become an issue.

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I am from Langley, would gladly drive to Abby or Chilliwack for seasons tix for our farm team if it ended up there.

The Heat are losing so much money. 2 years ago when I went to the Heat/Moose game, I spoke with my mom's friend who was/is a city councillor for Abbotsford. He told me that for the Heat just to break even would be 4600 tix/game. At that time they were averaging 1800, and I have heard it was even less this year( with exceptions to Wolves/Barons/Marlies)

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if the canucks DO get an AHL expansion team in Abby (which would be amazing for the canucks and abby for so many reasons, and it might even push transit to stretch the skytrain out to abby from the major increase in traffic) then it could be a sign of NHL expansion. It's well known the wolves owner wants a NHL team in seattle, so the wolves would automatically have a NHL affiliate in that case.

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Heat president Ryan Walters stated he has new been approached about moving the heat, as well as flames management has shot down the rumoured move to Utica. Would love to see canucks farm team closer, but it would kill local junior hockey.

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