Houston Aeros 1994-2013: Thank you for all the great memories and two decades of great hockey and entertainment.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

It's Official; welcome Abby, Austin and Glens Falls!

From the wonderful folks at AHL Communications:
Press release ... 

April 28, 2009 

AHL affiliates of Stars, Flames, Flyers find new homes for next season 

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League Board of Governors convened for its Spring Meeting today in Chicago. AHL President and CEO David Andrewsannounced the following: 
  • The Board approved a limited membership to Hicks Cedar Park, LLC, to allow for the operation of an AHL team in Austin, Texas, for the 2009-10 season. The limited membership is conditioned on Hicks Cedar Park, LLC, completing the purchase of an AHL franchise within one year.
  • The Board approved the relocation of the franchise owned by the Calgary Flames from the Quad Cities to Abbotsford, B.C.
  • The Board approved the transfer of ownership of the Philadelphia Phantoms franchise from Philadelphia Phantoms, LP, to a newly formed entity known as Phantoms Hockey LLC, owned by the Brooks Group. Subsequently, the Brooks Group was granted approval to relocate its AHL franchise from Philadelphia to Glens Falls, N.Y., beginning with the 2009-10 season.
“On behalf of our Board, it’s my privilege to welcome these three cities to the AHL family,” said Andrews. “We are looking forward to these new opportunities in Austin and Abbotsford, and we’re excited to be returning to the rich AHL tradition and history in Glens Falls.” 

The Texas Stars will begin play as the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Dallas Stars at the brand-new 6,800-seat Cedar Park Center in the Austin suburb of Cedar Park this fall. The Abbotsford club will serve as the Calgary Flames’ primary development team and play at the new state-of-the-art Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre. And the Philadelphia Flyers’ new affiliate will play in the Glens Falls Civic Center, which was home to four Calder Cup championship teams during the 1980’s and 1990’s. 

In operation since 1936, the AHL continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. Nearly 85 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and this season marks the eighth consecutive year in which more than 6 million fans have attended AHL games across North America. Eight clubs remain in the hunt for the league’s coveted championship trophy as the second round of the 2009 Calder Cup Playoffs gets underway tonight. 

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Anonymous said...

Yeah, just read this on AHL.com as well. However, considering the financial status of the Hicks Group what will be the immediate future anyway?

Anonymous said...

From the Dallas Morning News:
Separately, Hicks has delayed plans for the Glorypark development in Arlington. He also says he's open to selling large minority stakes in both the Rangers and the Stars in an effort to diversify his investments and reduce debt. He's negotiating with his lenders after the teams' default on $525 million in debt earlier this month.

He is also trying to refinance his Liverpool FC soccer team – he owns half – and find the money to build a new stadium there. Hicks and his partner in the Liverpool deal, George Gillett, are trying to refinance about $360 million.

His so-called blank-check company, Hicks Acquisition, warned in a recent regulatory filing that it may not complete a previously announced deal for Graham Packaging, or any other deal, before a Sept. 28 deadline.

At that time, the blank check company, which held $540 million in trust at the end of 2008, must cease existence and begin liquidating. Asked if he was confident a deal would get done, Hicks said he couldn't comment beyond the filing.

Dwight Baker said...

I'm confused. I thought the Texas Stars were already a franchise and whatever players they have under contract will then come to Texas to play for the Stars. I didn't realize this whole thing was contingent upon them moving an existing team to play AS the Texas Stars. Was this a case of "if you build it, they will come?"

Forecheck said...

MY understanding is that Austin was to be an expansion, though they could also buy the Roadrunners.

John Royal said...

Forecheck: Austin was never going to be an expansion franchise because the AHL had no way to expand. The league is already at 29 active teams, and the Edmonton Oilers own the rights to an inactive AHL franchise which they keep threatening to activate. Thus, since there are only 30 teams in the NHL, the AHL could not expand to more than 30 teams.

We spoke to him earlier this year. He said the hope was that Hicks would buy a team and move it,but that this was not guaranteed. I haven't read anything besides the press release yet, but there was no team to expand.