Franchise Movement Rumblings

A few weeks ago, I touched on the issues that the Texas Stars currently have with their franchise status in the AHL. Elsewhere in the AHL, things are starting to move.

I mentioned in my previous posts that the Stars had a few options for franchises to purchase on a permanent basis, the Iowa Chops and the Edmonton Road Runners. There have been some movements since then. Edmonton will announce today at a news conference that they will be ending their affiliation with the Springfield Falcons and will use their inactive franchise, the Road Runners, to create a new team in Oklahoma City. According to Oilers blog, The Copper & Blue, names in the running include the Road Runners, Oilers, Oil Kings, Oil Barons, 89ers, and Hawks. This leaves Springfield without an NHL affiliate. The Falcons franchise is independently owned, that is, not owned by an NHL ownership group like the Stars or new Edmonton franchise. More details on the move in the Vancouver Sun: The Vancouver Sun: Ready to move the farm.

Also, it will be made official tomorrow that the Carolina Hurricanes will be moving their AHL affiliate closer to home. The Charlotte Checkers will be purchasing the AHL franchise of the Albany River Rats and will move up from the ECHL to the AHL. This leaves Albany without an affiliate team or a franchise license. Albany has been rumored as a possible destination for the New York Rangers franchise, currently the Hartford Wolf Pack.

Add in the several expiring affiliation agreements at the end of the season, the fact that Anaheim would probably like to get a real affiliate again, and the Stars temporary license issues, we could be seeing a drastically different AHL team layout coming in October. At this point, we don't even know if the Texas Stars will be part of it.

Note: Still working on story regarding what happens to the Texas Stars if the Dallas Stars are sold this summer.


  1. Thanks for the update, not really what any of us wanted to hear, but even a quick glance at the league history suggests that "different AHL team layouts" seem to be the norm.


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