|(Credit: David Mark from Pixabay)
The American Hockey League will have its 32nd member in 2021 as Palm Springs was announced today as the Seattle NHL club's AAA affiliate. Since the Texas Stars joined the league in 2009, the AHL has grown from 29 teams to 32, keeping one-to-one parity with the NHL.
Here's the release:
American Hockey League President and Chief Executive Officer David Andrews announced today that the AHL Board of Governors has awarded an expansion franchise to NHL Seattle and Oak View Group.
The AHL’s 32nd team will be located in Palm Springs, Calif., and will begin play as the primary development affiliate of the NHL’s expansion Seattle franchise in the fall of 2021.
“On behalf of the AHL’s Board of Governors, I am thrilled to welcome the NHL Seattle and OVG ownership teams and the city of Palm Springs as the league’s 32nd franchise,” said Andrews. “Palm Springs has all the makings of an outstanding hockey market, and will further strengthen the growing base of our sport in California.”
In operation since 1936, the AHL serves as the top development league for the players, coaches, managers, executives and broadcasters of every National Hockey League organization. Nearly 90 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame spent time in the AHL in their careers.