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:
OKLAHOMA CITY JOINING AHL IN 2010-11
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.
Dallas Stars GM vs. the reliability of NHL stats
3 hours ago