|Abbotsford AHL team|
|City:||Abbotsford, British Columbia|
|League:||American Hockey League|
|Home Arena:||Abbotsford Centre|
|Owner(s):||Canucks Sports & Entertainment|
|Affiliates:||Vancouver Canucks (NHL)|
The Abbotsford AHL team is a professional ice hockey team to be based in Abbotsford, British Columbia, and members of the American Hockey League (AHL). The team is announced to begin play in the 2021–22 season with home games at the Abbotsford Centre as the AHL affiliate of the National Hockey League's Vancouver Canucks. The team is a relocation of the franchise owned by the Canucks and used by the Utica Comets from 2013 to 2021. This is the second AHL team play in Abbotsford after the Calgary Flames' affiliate Abbotsford Heat from 2009 until 2014.
History[edit | edit source]
On March 29, 2013, Canucks Sports & Entertainment (CS&E), owners of the National Hockey League's (NHL) Vancouver Canucks, was announced as purchasing the American Hockey League (AHL) franchise playing as the Peoria Rivermen and was approved by the league on April 18. After purchasing the franchise, CS&E intended to have the franchise located in a market close to Vancouver with their initial preference as Abbotsford, British Columbia, which was home to the Calgary Flames' AHL farm club, the Abbotsford Heat. The Heat had been rumored to relocate to Utica, New York, at the time. Negotiations between the Canucks and Abbotsford broke down by April 22 and the Heat remained in the city.
After exploring options for having the team in Vancouver, Seattle, and Peoria, CS&E came to a six-year operating agreement with Robert Esche to place the franchise in Utica and the city's soon-to-be-renovated Memorial Auditorium as the Utica Comets.The Comets began play in the 2013–14 AHL season. The Heat lasted only one more season in Abbotsford before relocating to Glens Falls, New York, as the Adirondack Flames in 2014. Before the 2019–20 season, CS&E and Esche's operating contract was extended for up to an additional six years, with potential opt outs every two seasons.
In April 2021, a new trademark was filed for the brand "Utica Devils" by Robert Esche for a potential relocation of the Binghamton Devils. On May 4, the Canucks announced that they planned to relocate the Comets' franchise to Abbotsford, pending final discussions with the city of Abbotsford and league approval, for the 2021–22 season. On May 6, the league approved of both relocations and the Utica team remained branded as the Comets.
References[edit | edit source]
- Report: Vancouver Canucks Purchase Rivermen; Move to Abbotsford?. Thecanuckway.com (March 29, 2013).
- Kramer, Lindsay (February 26, 2013). Possible AHL move to Utica stirs conflicting reports. The Post-Standard.
- McIntyre, Gordon (2013-04-23). Abbotsford Heat staying put for next season at least after Canucks talks break down. The Province.
- Dan Kinvig (April 13, 2013). Heat's territorial rights limit Canucks' local AHL options - Abbotsford News. Abbotsford News.
- Mirtle, James (June 17, 2013). Seattle on NHL's relocation radar yet again. The Globe and Mail.
- Eminian, Dave (April 23, 2013). Civic Center begins talks with NHL Vancouver over Rivermen. Peoria Journal-Star.
- Brough, Jason (June 6, 2013). Report: Canucks moving AHL affiliate to Utica. NBC Sports.
- Canucks extend affiliate deal with the AHL's Utica Comets. The Province (December 29, 2018).
- Canucks extend AHL affiliate deal with Utica Comets. Vancouver Canucks (December 29, 2018).
- Potential move of AHL teams puts future of hockey in Binghamton in question (April 16, 2021).
- Canucks to move American Hockey League affiliate to Abbotsford (May 4, 2021).
- Board of Governors Approves Franchise Relocations (May 6, 2021).
- NEW JERSEY DEVILS SIGN TEN-YEAR AFFILIATION DEAL WITH UTICA COMETS (May 6, 2021).
|Formerly the Quebec Castors, Springfield Indians, Worcester IceCats and Peoria Rivermen|
Founded in 1932 - Based in Utica, New York
|The franchise||History - Players - All articles|
|Arena||Adirondack Bank Center at Utica Memorial Auditorium|
|Affiliates||Vancouver Canucks (NHL) - Kalamazoo Wings (ECHL) - New Jersey Devils (NHL) (in 2021–22)|
|Past teams||Quebec Castors - Springfield Indians - Worcester IceCats - Peoria Rivermen - Utica Devils|
|The Franchise||Franchise • WHL years • Expansion Draft • History • All-time Roster • Draft Picks • Seasons • Records • Head Coaches|
|Arenas||Pacific Coliseum • Rogers Arena|
|Coaches||Laycoe • Stasiuk • McCreary • Maloney • Kurtenbach • Neale • Neilson • Neale • LaForge • Neale • Watt • McCammon • Quinn • Ley • Quinn • Renney • Keenan • Crawford • Vigneault • Tortorella • Desjardins • Green|
|General Managers||Poile • Laycoe • Maloney • Milford • Neale • Gordon • Quinn • Burke • Nonis • Gillis • Benning|
|Team awards||Babe Pratt Trophy • Cyclone Taylor Trophy • Cyrus H. McLean Trophy • Fred J. Hume Award • Molson Cup • Most Exciting Player Award • Daniel & Henrik Sedin Award|
|Retired numbers||10 • 11 (unofficial)• 12 • 16 • 19 • 22 • 28 (unofficial) • 33 • 37 (unofficial) • 99 (league wide)|
|Affiliates||Abbotsford AHL team (AHL) • Victoria Salmon Kings (ECHL)|
|Stanley Cup Finals (3)||Wins: None • Losses: 1982 • 1994 • 2011|