Tuesday, 22 May 2007

New Dance Partners

In keeping with the affiliate theme, I've decided to post a list of all the NHL teams with their corresponding AHL affiliate in the 2007-08 season. There are some changes and some switches that need to be brought to the forefront as the AHL expands to 29 teams from its current 27-team format. While the expansion isn't quite a true expansion as some teams are being resurrected from the dead, it is important to note that these teams are moving to new cities after having taken a year off. All but one NHL franchise will have a true, distinct AHL team call their own, and that is good for business everywhere in hockey.

Here is the list of teams in alphabetical order of NHL teams. New affiliations have been bolded.

1) Anaheim Ducks - Portland Pirates (Portland, Maine)
2) Atlanta Thrashers - Chicago Wolves (Chicago, Illinois)
3) Boston Bruins - Providence Bruins (Providence, Rhode Island)
4) Barney Rubble Hairpieces - Rochester Americans (Rochester, New York)
5) Calgary Flames - Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights (Omaha, Nebraska)
6) Carolina Hurricanes - Albany River Rats (Albany, New York)
7) Chicago Blackhawks - Rockford Ice Hogs (Rockford, Illinois)
8) Colorado Avalanche - Lake Erie Monsters (Cleveland, Ohio)
9) Columbus Blue Jackets - Syracuse Crunch (Syracuse, New York)
10) Dallas Stars - Iowa Stars (Des Moines, Iowa)
11) Detroit Red Wings - Grand Rapids Griffins (Grand Rapids, Michigan)
12) Edmonton Oilers - Springfield Falcons (Springfield, Massachusetts)
13) Florida Panthers - no primary affiliate
14) Los Angeles Kings - Manchester Monarchs (Manchester, New Hampshire)
15) Minnesota Wild - Houston Aeros (Houston, Texas)
16) Montreal Canadiens - Hamilton Bulldogs (Hamilton, Ontario)
17) Nashville Predators - Milwaukee Admirals (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
18) New Jersey Devils - Lowell Devils (Lowell, Massachusetts)
19) New York Islanders - Bridgeport Sound Tigers (Bridgeport, Connecticut)
20) New York Rangers - Hartford Wolfpack (Hartford, Connecticut)
21) Ottawa Senators - Binghampton Senators (Binghampton, New York)
22) Philadelphia Flyers - Philadelphia Phantoms (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
23) Phoenix Coyotes - San Antonio Rampage (San Antonio, Texas)
24) Pittsburgh Penguins - Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Pennsylvania)
25) San Jose Sharks - Worcester Sharks (Worcester, Massachusetts)
26) St. Louis Blues - Peoria Rivermen (Peoria, Illinois)
27) Tampa Bay Lightning - Norfolk Admirals (Norfolk, Virginia)
28) Toronto Maple Leafs - Toronto Marlies (Toronto, Ontario)
29) Vancouver Canucks - Manitoba Moose (Winnipeg, Manitoba)
30) Washington Capitals - Hershey Bears (Hershey, Pennsylvania)

Hopefully, Florida can find their own affiliate sooner rather than later, but it appears that they will be sending some players to Rochester as they did this past season.

What I don't understand is why the Chicago Blackhawks don't switch with the Atlanta Thrashers. The Flyers and Phantoms play in the same city, as do the Maple Leafs and Marlies. This makes sense. It would also make more sense if the Dallas Stars (Iowa) swapped minor-league affiliations with the Minnesota Wild (Houston) in terms of the proximity to the minor-league team. But hey... who am I to make sense of hockey? I just talk about it.

In any case, Edmonton regains an AHL team after losing the Edmonton Roadrunners. The Colorado Avalanche drop the shared affiliation with Albany in favour of their own team, the Lake Erie Monsters. The Chicago Blackhawks drop the affiliation with Norfolk and found the Rockford Ice Hogs. Tampa Bay picks up the affiliation with Norfolk. Musical hockey chairs have never been so much fun!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice... and your affiliations straight!


Jibblescribbits said...

I think Chicago is afraid of getting outdrawn by it's own affiliate in its own town.

See the Flyers are a good orginization, so they have no problems sharing the Phantoms, it builds fans of their prospects which builds interest in their teams.

With the Blackhawks, people would be fans of their prospects, and then not be able to see them after they make the jump.

Nice blog, BTW

Teebz said...

Thanks, B-Dub. I appreciate the readership. :o)

I agree about the Wolves outdrawing the Hawks. It's a shame to see what Wirtz has done to a once-proud franchise.