SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … David Andrews, President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Hockey League, released the following statement after today’s announcement by True North Sports & Entertainment in Winnipeg:
“The Manitoba Moose have been a flagship franchise for the AHL over the last decade, always near the top of the league in attendance, regularly going deep into the Calder Cup Playoffs, hosting the AHL All-Star Classic and developing countless National Hockey League players for the Vancouver Canucks, all while also maintaining a strong grass-roots presence in the Winnipeg community.
“While our league will not be the same without the Manitoba Moose, our loss will be the NHL’s gain. Mark Chipman has been an influential leader as an owner in the AHL, playing an important role in our expansion to absorb the former IHL and serving on the league’s executive committee for 10 years. He will be a terrific addition to the NHL Board of Governors.
“Manitoba deserves to have NHL hockey, and we have no doubt that the NHL will be successful in its return to Winnipeg. Our sincere thanks go to the Manitoba Moose fans who have supported the American Hockey League loyally and passionately for the past 10 years.
“The future of the Manitoba AHL franchise will be determined in the weeks ahead, and we look forward to Winnipeg’s NHL club developing its top prospects in the AHL.”
Celebrating its historic 75th anniversary season in 2010-11, the American Hockey League continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 87 percent of all players competing in the NHL are AHL graduates, and through the years the American Hockey League has been home to more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame.