From Los Angeles Kings blog Mayor’s Manor, it sounds like the American Hockey League’s landscape could be making a fairly dramatic shift:
Through multiple league sources connected to the teams involved, we’ve confirmed that five to six NHL teams are prepared to move their top minor league prospects to a new AHL division based in Western U.S. markets.
The reason for this is actually quite simple; it just isn’t practical – or at least not ideal- to have the heart of an NHL franchise operating in one time zone, while their top development team is several time zones away.
At one point, as many as eight teams were involved in the discussions, including Anaheim, Los Angeles, Calgary, Colorado, Edmonton, Phoenix, San Jose, and Vancouver.
Click on the link for all the details. According to the report, the “Coyotes, Ducks, Kings, and Sharks are on board” and “the new division will begin play in October 2015.”
Earlier this week, the Flames ended their affiliation with the AHL’s most western-based team, the Abbostford Heat.