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

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

OKC is now official

OKC is in, and Edmonton will be moving it's affiliation from Springfield (the home of the AHL) to Sooner country. In fact, there is a naming contest for the new team, but I fully expect the Blazer name to revive itself (unless there is some law or other legal issue in place to keep that from happening).

Tomorrow, the league will announce that the Carolina Hurricanes will move it's franchise from Albany to Charlotte.

As of right now, this is what I think I know. Please feel free to add to or correct.

Anaheim is the only NHL team with out an AHL team at the moment.
Springfield has a team, but no affiliation. Technically, so do the Iowa Chops.
Texas does not officially have an AHL franchise (last year, they were granted a special exemption ... and they will will purchase the first affiliate that is available for a move)
I guess at the moment, that leaves Springfield and Iowa as available for moves.

In the end, I think you are going to see a lot of switches this summer, and I have no idea how the AHL will meet its goal of getting 30 AHL teams (one per NHL team). Your thoughts?

Update: Here is a good article that kind of summarizes all that is going on.

Here is the league press release regarding the OKC deal:

Edmonton Oilers’ AHL affiliate to play at Cox Convention Center

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … American Hockey League President and CEO David Andrews announced today that the league’s Board of Governors has approved the relocation of the AHL franchise owned by the Edmonton Oilers from Edmonton, Alta., to Oklahoma City, Okla., to begin play there in the fall of 2010.

The Oklahoma City club will hit the ice for the 2010-11 season as the Oilers’ top development team and will play their home games at the newly renovated Cox Convention Center. Renovations such as a state-of-the-art scoreboard and sound system will complement other improvements including terrace suites, exclusive lounge areas and new locker room and workout areas at the downtown arena.

In operation since 1936, the AHL continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 84 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and more than 6.5 million fans per season have attended AHL games across North America since 2001.


Lax Guy said...

About a month ago I read somewhere that like 6 affiliations were up for renewal this year. Springfield/OKC makes one change.
I think the Ducks were not included, although it is conceivable; the Chops affiliation would have ended this year if our owners were not crooks...
It should be a very interesting off season to say the least.

Forecheck said...

I'm not sure the info on the Stars is correct.

The Texas Stars have a full affiliation with the Dallas Stars. The Texas Stars are owned in some manner by Hicks, et. al. - essentially the Dallas Stars (maybe John can clarify the Enron-esque ownership ). What the Texas Stars lack is a formal, permanent AHL franchise . In a sense, even though the Texas Stars are playing, they really don't exist, at least not permanently.

I believe the thinking was granting them a year's temporary status would give them a chance to extort... er, uh, buy a dormant franchise at lower cost - such as the now otherwise worthless Des Moines franchise. Now Springfield is in play, too.

I'm guessing the net effect is we keep a team in Austin, Anaheim gets a franchise west of the Mississippi (Des Moines????), maybe by purchasing and relocating, and there is a lot of shuffling out East.

John Royal said...


The Texas Stars are owned by the Dallas Stars. Odds are, when Tom Hicks sells the Stars, which he has now stated he is going to do, then he will be selling Dallas and Austin hockey teams.

But the Stars got a special exemption from the league to put a team in Austin. But with Edmonton activating it's AHL franchise, there are now 30 official teams in the league, and not Austin.

I think the intent was for the Chops to be sold to the Stars, but Des Moines wouldn't allow for the franchise rights to be sold. I'm with you and I expect another team to end up in Des Moines with another team's rights being sold to the Stars and that team relocating to Austin.

But it's going to be an interesting offseason.

FinnAir said...

Will Marcy Turco be sold now?
Will Kari Lehtonen stay healhty?
Will Alex Auld head to Texas Stars ->Brent Krahn or Matt Climie to ECHL / Houston ?
Who has the number for Joe Nieuwendyk?

Ms. Conduct said...


Mike Heika does! :)

Carrying 3 goalies. Heard that before. Enjoy the Steelheads, Climie.

Forecheck said...

Finn- You couldn't get more than a keg of beer right now for Turco, who is showing signs of being washed up.Then again, you couldn't get more than a keg for the whole Dallas D-corps, who frankly aren't very good.

Yeah, I'd like Joe's number - I still need to give him an earfull about letting Tip go as well as Zubbie.

FinnAir said...

Ok, thanks!

Climie to Steelheads -> Beauchemin back to Aeros :-)

FinnAir said...

Lehtonen will probably play about 2games before getting injured again, so I think you can add this to the list of grievances for when Joe's phonenumber turns up.

Ms. Conduct said...

Noooo. We have one too many goalies as it is. Or will soon if Harding's shot-up hip is playable (*grumble*).

Beauch should only come up to sit around and be pretty.

artandhockey said...

Right on.. the view would be worth it!