Bridgeport Sound Tigers Moving?


With so many other American Hockey League teams on the move, it seems like the time of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers could come to an end. In 2013, it was announced that the Sound Tigers could move to Uniondale and Nassau Coliseum in 2016 when the New York Islanders moved to Brooklyn.

Now, it seems that is not the case.

“We’ve had no directive from ownership that we’re moving to the Coliseum,” said Howard Saffan, the Sound Tigers’ president in an article on

“The most important thing to remember is we own the operating agreement for Webster Bank Arena,” Saffan said. “Our contractual obligation to the City of Bridgeport is to provide American Hockey League games at the arena.”

If the Sound Tigers did move, to Uniondale or anywhere else, there are few openings. Manchester and Adirondack have already filled space with ECHL clubs, along with eve Norfolk. One of the only openings would be Worcester after the Sharks move to San Jose.

New Jersey’s affiliate in Albany is up at the end of the year, according to, but they are working to stay there. If they cannot, however, Bridgeport could be a logical option for them.

It sounds like a replacement team in Bridgeport couldn’t be in the ECHL, because Saffron says the agreement means they need a team in the AHL or better… and no NHL team is going to Bridgeport any time soon.

“I think any team’s future in the league, any city’s future in the league, is really driven by one thing, and that’s support,” AHL president David Andrews said in the same Connecticut Post article.

The east coast in the AHL will look a lot different in 2015-2016 to begin with, with the only teams remaining as New England clubs in Bridgeport, Providence, Portland, Springfield, and Hartford.

However, the league is more western, with five new California teams. Before the moves, the farthest west team has been Oklahoma City (who are one of the teams moving to California).

It remains to be seen if even the Portland Pirates remain in Maine; the Arizona Coyotes affiliate has been rumored to be potentially relocating to San Antonio, currently the Florida panthers AHL affiliate club.

One thing is clear, and that’s the future of the Sound Tigers is unclear. If they leave Bridgeport, another team will return- but are any AHL teams with expiring deals interested in moving to a Connecticut arena?