The American Hockey League has had teams located in some pretty interesting places. Some have done just fine and have had no issues making money, while others have gone bankrupt. In light of the Abbotsford Heat losing $12 million, some changes may be in the works. The AHL is now looking to start a Western division for farm teams of Western NHL clubs
The move would be in hopes of moving prospects for the Kings, Sharks, Ducks, Coyotes and other Western NHL teams who’s prospects aren’t close. Talks of this move by the AHL have been on going for over a year, but with up to 6 NHL teams on board, it might be time to move some teams West.
Some of the Western team such as the Lost Angeles Kings have been forced to sign affliation with ECHL teams for immediate call-ups over AHL prospects who take longer to arrive. This move will allow them to have direct access to their prospects and a better opportunity to watch many develop.
Fans will also have a chance to see some of the future talent down in the AHL if and when the Western team’s move West. With the heart and soul of many teams opperating several time zones away, it’s not practical or ideal for the NHL team’s or their fans. To put it into poportion, the San Jose Sharks are 4,253 KM away from their AHL team, while the Kings are 4,141 KM away.
If the AHL does approve the new division out West, the news will come sometime this summer after the Calder Cup Championships. If they don’t approve the move, there is talk some teams may move their AHL team’s anyway.