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Senators’ sale, relocation approved by BOG

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League’s Board of Governors has unanimously approved the sale of the franchise owned by B.C. Senators Inc., to a company owned by Eugene Melnyk, effective upon closing, as well as the relocation of that franchise from Binghamton, N.Y., to Belleville, Ont., effective with the 2017-18 season.

The Belleville Senators will begin play as the Ottawa Senators’ AHL affiliate in the fall of 2017.

In operation since 1936, the AHL continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 88 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. In 2015-16, over 7.1 million fans attended AHL regular-season and playoff games across North America, the highest total attendance in league history.

The AHL’s 2016-17 season begins Friday.