The Calgary Flames may be moving their AHL affiliate once again.
Don Laible of the Utica Observer-Dispatch reports the Abbotsford Heat will be moving to Utica, NY next season and signing a 10-year affiliation deal with the city. Utica hasn’t been the home to an AHL team since 1993 when the New Jersey Devils moved their farm team to Albany and became the wonderfully named (and defunct) River Rats.
The Flames’ history in picking locations to have their minor league team succeed have been dubious to say the least.
Their current location in Abbotsford, B.C. has been a money-losing venture and the team has also failed in Omaha, Nebraska and the Quad Cities in Illinois over the last eight years. Making matters worse, the Heat have the fifth-lowest attendance in the AHL this season.
“We have been approached by representatives in Utica concerning an opportunity for the AHL. We understand they are building a case for the AHL to return there. We are under contract and committed to Abbotsford, and have made no alternate commitments.”
Dubinsky won’t change, and he won’t go easy on Crosby
“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”
In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.
One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.
Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?
Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).
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