Flames terminate relationship with Abbotsford
Calgary, AB (SportsNetwork.com) - The Calgary Flames revealed on Tuesday that the club has decided to discontinue its AHL farm club operation with the City of Abbotsford effective at the end of this season.
"In 2010 we came to Abbotsford with our AHL affiliate at the behest of the City Administration of the day," said Flames president and CEO Ken King. "Our aims were simple, to establish a home in the American Hockey League where we could develop our younger players in a strong community environment. The economics did not turn out the way any of us intended, despite the tremendous efforts of many men and women who made it their mission to convert the allegiances of local hockey fans, at least at the American Hockey League level, to the Heat. Unfortunately the time has come for us to move on."
Abbotsford has drawn the second-lowest average number of fans of all 30 American Hockey League teams in 2013-14, at 3,007 per contest. Only Portland, which left the Cumberland County Civic Center in a dispute for the smaller Androscoggin Bank Colisee, ranks lower.
The Post Star of Glens Falls, NY, reported several weeks ago that a Flames official visited the town located at the foot of the Adirondacks and the Glens Falls Civic Center to assess its viability for relocation. Glens Falls has hosted the Philadelphia Flyers' AHL farm club for the past five seasons, but the team will be moving to the Lehigh Valley for the 2014-15 campaign.
The Adirondack Red Wings called Glens Falls home from 1979-99 and won four Calder Cups. The region then had to wait 10 years for the AHL to return, after the Phantoms were uprooted from Philadelphia due to the impending demolition of the Spectrum.
Calgary's AHL affiliations have switched cities four times in the last 10 years alone, from Saint John, NB to Lowell, MA, then Omaha, NE, Moline, IL and back to Alberta.
04/15 15:43:39 ET