Canucks purchase Peoria AHL franchise from Blues

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The Vancouver Canucks have purchased the Peoria Rivermen AHL franchise from the St. Louis Blues.

It’s been speculated the Canucks will move the Rivermen to Abbotsford, a Vancouver suburb currently home to Calgary’s AHL affiliate.

Abbotsford has struggled to attract fans to watch the Flames’ farm team in a pro-Canucks market, with one notable exception: when Vancouver’s AHL team from Chicago is in town.

For now, Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini is only calling it an “exciting opportunity,” adding that the “purchase of the Peoria franchise allows us to take an important step and assume full control of our minor league development program.”

According to The Province, it’s possible the Blues could move their AHL program to Chicago and the Flames could end up in Utica, New York.