AHL Expected to Announce 'Pacific' Division Thursday

Dave Andrews hands the AHL MVP award to Travis Morin at the final game
of the 2013-14 season. (Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
This appears to be the big one. The AHL has announced a press conference for tomorrow at 2:30 PM Central to make a 'major announcement' regarding the 2015-16 season. The press conference will take place at SAP Center in San Jose and will feature representatives from five NHL clubs all looking to move their AHL affiliates closer to the West coast. It is expected that this announcement will be the formation of the AHL's long-rumoured Pacific Division, which will relocate several franchises and move them to California locations that will place them closer to their NHL parents.

Representatives from the LA Kings, Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks will be on hand for the press conference.

San Jose has already announced they will relocate their affiliate, currently in Worcester, to San Jose for 2015-16. Adirondack (Calgary) and Manchester (LA) scheduled press conferences as well to make similar announcements. Adirondack is expected to move to Stockton, California, and Manchester to Ontario, California. Anaheim is set to purchase the Norfolk Admirals and move them to San Diego. The Oilers are heading to Bakersfield as well.

ECHL teams in many of those cities already are expected to head east and, in several cases, serve as drop-in replacements for the departing AHL teams.

Here's the release:
The American Hockey League will be making a major announcement related to the 2015-16 season on Thursday, January 29, at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif.

David Andrews, President and Chief Executive Officer – American Hockey League
Bill Daly, Deputy Commissioner – National Hockey League
Michael Schulman, Chief Executive Officer – Anaheim Ducks
Bob Murray, Executive Vice President and General Manager – Anaheim Ducks
Brad Treliving, General Manager – Calgary Flames
Kevin Lowe, Vice Chair, Oilers Entertainment Group – Edmonton Oilers
Luc Robitaille, President, Business Operations – Los Angeles Kings
John Tortora, Chief Operating Officer – San Jose Sharks
Doug Wilson, General Manager – San Jose Sharks

Thursday, January 29, 2015 – 12:30 p.m. PT

Rinkside Room – SAP Center

Media wishing to attend the event should contact San Jose Sharks director of media relations Scott Emmert (semmert@sharkssports.net) for credentials. Lunch will be served following the press conference.

The press conference will be streamed live on theahl.com as well as on the websites of the participating teams.