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Seattle NHL franchise to have AHL affiliate in Palm Springs

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PALM SPRINGS, Calif. (AP) — Seattle’s new NHL franchise intends to have its American Hockey League affiliate in Palm Springs as part of a new arena proposed for the city.

The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and Oak View Group announced plans Wednesday to build a privately-funded arena on tribal land in downtown Palm Springs with the intent on serving as the home ice for Seattle’s affiliate. NHL Seattle and OVG have jointly submitted an application for an expansion AHL franchise, the 32nd for the league, which would begin play in the fall of 2021 at the same time Seattle’s NHL franchise will begin play.

OVG is currently financing and leading the renovation of the arena at Seattle Center that will be home to the NHL franchise.

The new arena in Palm Springs will seat up to 10,000 fans and include an adjoining training facility. The groups hope to begin construction on the arena in February 2020.

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

AHL’s Bakersfield Condors can’t stop winning, boast 15-game streak

Bakersfield Condors
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The parent club has won once in 11 games. The minor league affiliate is the hottest team in the American Hockey League.

If you’re an Edmonton Oilers fan, well, maybe there’s some hope down in the AHL that can lead to a turnaround in the future. The Bakersfield Condors are red-hot right now having won 15 straight games, with their last defeat coming on Jan. 11.

They won No. 15 on Saturday night, thanks to an overtime goal from Cooper Marody. Here are the highlights and the call from the great Ryan Holt:

The streak has put the Condors in first place in the AHL’s Pacific Division and second in the Western Conference.

Now for the fun facts:

• The Condors are the seventh AHL team to win 15 consecutive games.

• The 15-game winning streak is the fourth-longest in AHL history.

• They kicked off 2019 with an 0-4-1 record and were in fifth place in their division — 11 points out of first place —  before the streak started.

• Bakersfield has outscored opponents 69-31 over their last 15 games and have only trailed for 49 minutes total.

• Per Holt, if the Condors win No. 16 next Saturday against Tucson they will match the 1984-85 Baltimore Skipjacks’ 16-game winning streak. That Skipjacks roster featured Steve Carlson (a.k.a. Steve Hanson), Bruce Boudreau, Marty McSorley, Bob Errey, Phil Bourque, and Andy Brickley. “Nobody on the roster was even alive then.”

• Only two teams in AHL history have had winning streaks greater than 16 games: The 2004-05 Philadelphia Phantoms won 17, and the record-holders, 2011-12 Norfolk Admirals, went on an insane run winning 28 straight. Both teams won the Calder Cup in their respective seasons. (That Norfolk roster featured the likes of Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat, and were coached by some guy named Jon Cooper. Wonder whatever happened to those three?)

If the Condors keep the wins coming they could match the Admirals’ record on March 30 against the San Jose Barracuda and break it against the Manitoba Moose on April 2.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Watch some very good dogs race during AHL game (Video)

Rockford IceHogs
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For the fifth consecutive year, the American Hockey League’s Rockford IceHogs showcased the talents of some very good dogs during their Pucks & Paws Night.

Fans were encouraged to bring their pups to BMO Harris Bank Center for the game against the San Antonio Rampage. There were dogs available for adoption and one special pup even got to do the honors for the ceremonial face-off before the game.

So as to not show up the very good dogs, the IceHogs lost 6-0, making the highlight of the evening the highly-anticipated Wiener Dog Race:

The winner of the race was Darby, a very, very good dog, who was focused on the task at hand and took the crown for the second straight year.

If we were running the Dog Rates Twitter account during the game, these pups were easily be worth a 13/10 rating. Easily.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Bissonnette to join AHL club (Update: He’s signed with Portland)

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The agent for Paul Bissonnette has confirmed to ProHockeyTalk the forward is in talks to join an American Hockey League team.

According to Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic, the Arizona Coyotes have had discussions with Bissonnette. Arizona’s AHL affiliate is the Portland Pirates.

Updated: Bissonnette’s agent confirmed that his client has signed an AHL deal with the Portland Pirates.

Bissonnette had agreed to join the Cardiff Devils of the British Elite Ice Hockey League on Friday.

On Sunday, the Devils confirmed Bissonnette would not be joining the club.

“I just heard from Paul today (Sunday) prior to our game and he explained that he has been offered a deal in the American Hockey League that he hopes will lead to an NHL deal later this season,” said Devils Managing Director, Todd Kelman. “I told him that I was happy for him that he is getting a chance to get back to the NHL and as much as we are disappointed, we wish him success.

“I still would’ve taken the risk to bring him in. No hesitation on that, we had to try.”

Bissonnette, 29, has previously spent parts of four seasons in the AHL with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

In 202 career NHL games with Pittsburgh and Arizona, Bissonnette has seven goals and 22 points to go along with 340 penalty minutes.