As Predicted, Utica Affiliation Backfires for Vancouver

(Credit: Lindsay A. Mogle/Utica Comets)
I'm not gonna say I told you so, but I basically did. From my post on June 17, 2013 titled "Utica Comets a Puzzling Addition to AHL":
"Also it will take (at best) 8.5 hours for prospects to make it from Utica to Vancouver's Airport."
In case you missed it, last night the Vancouver Canucks had to dress an amateur tryout goalie as their backup for a game against the Ducks in Anaheim. The Canucks tried to get their top AHL man, Joacim Eriksson, from Utica to the Honda Center in time for the game, but it didn't work.

One might make the argument that Anaheim is not Vancouver and any team with an east coast AHL team could have played a game in California needing a backup. However, the Canucks are certainly much more likely to play a game at Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Jose, Calgary, or Edmonton needing a backup goalie than New Jersey, Boston or Buffalo. That's just how divisions work.

Just another justification for the westward expansion of the AHL...

The Stars play the Comets this Saturday, their only visit to Cedar Park this regular season.


  1. So ridiculous. I have no idea what they were thinking.

  2. Problem is you want West expansion, but who will run the teams or own them. West does not work, right now or in the near future.

    1. Also which cities out east 'deserve' to lose their teams? I would hate to be in that situation as a fan.

  3. I'm continually amazed at the West coast NHL teams with minor league affiliates in the Northeast. It just makes zero sense. And it's precisely why the Dallas Stars wanted their farm team in Austin, which helps a great deal when it comes to logistics.

  4. According to the article, the backup goalie for the Ducks that night was Rob Laurie. If you are a long-time Austin hockey fan and have a good memory, that name may seem familiar. I had to look it up, but Rob Laurie played for the Ice Bats for one season. That was back in 1999-2000, when the Bats were still in the WPHL.

    I also noted several days ago that Dominic Forget just moved from Visp to La Chaux-de-Fonds. Both teams are in NLB - the Swiss National "B" League. That is not especially noteworthy, except for the fact that Dominic is also a former Ice Bat. He played briefly (8 GP) in 2001-02.

    It's always good to hear of former Bats.


    1. Ha, that's awesome! I love hearing about those old connections to the WPHL. I wasn't here in Austin in 99-00, so I'm glad you remembered that one!


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