Erie The Official AHL Team of Blue Jackets


This year has been full of movements between AHL affiliations. The newest official one with be between the Lake Erie Monsters and the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets.

If this sounds familiar, it was speculated back in March as a possibility. The Springfield Falcons, who had been the affiliate of Columbus, will become the AHL club for the Arizona Coyotes; their team, the Portland Pirates, will belong to the Florida Panthers. The Panthers team, the San Antonio Rampage, are now with the Colorado Avalanche.

The last trickle down effect is Erie now with the Jackets, and it makes so much sense.

Springfield to Columbus is not an astronomical distance. It’s a lot better than, say, Manchester, New Hampshire to Los Angeles was. But Erie is a much better option being right nearby Columbus for when they call players up.

The Monsters are owned by Dan Gilbert, the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers of the NBA. Though they have been the affiliate of Colorado, which also didn’t make much sense, the team has found nine years of success. They play right in Cleveland so it will be easy to co-brand the team with the Blue Jackets.

Last night the Monsters defeated the Hamilton Bulldogs (who are leaving the AHL completely) to end their 2014-2015 season. It was their last home game as an Avalanche affiliate, and they play in Hamilton today to officially end their stint with Colorado as their parent club.

“Cleveland’s Lake Erie Monsters are very excited to be a part of this new affiliation partnership with the Columbus Blue Jackets,” Monsters president Kerry Bubolz said in a statement via the news-herald. “Having this AHL-NHL connection in the state of Ohio will be great for the Monsters and Blue Jackets organizations, co-partners such as Fox Sports Ohio and all of the great hockey fans in the state.

“Our sport has grown tremendously throughout the state of Ohio in recent years and we believe this partnership between two great hockey markets will allow us to continue that growth.”

The entire staff and roster of the Falcons will relocate to Cleveland for the 2015-2016 season. The Falcons are going to make the AHL playoffs so they won’t play their last game as a Columbus affiliate for a while.

Next season’s AHL will look a lot different with several west coast teams and all the changes. Columbus is one of eleven teams who will have a new affiliate in 2015-2016.