Austin, Abbotsford, Glens Falls joining AHL in 2009-10

ahl06_200.jpgSPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League Board of Governors convened for its Spring Meeting today in Chicago. AHL President and CEO David Andrews announced the following:

  • The Board approved a limited membership to Hicks Cedar Park, LLC, to allow for the operation of an AHL team in Austin, Texas, for the 2009-10 season. The limited membership is conditioned on Hicks Cedar Park, LLC, completing the purchase of an AHL franchise within one year.
  • The Board approved the relocation of the franchise owned by the Calgary Flames from the Quad Cities to Abbotsford, B.C.
  • The Board approved the transfer of ownership of the Philadelphia Phantoms franchise from Philadelphia Phantoms, LP, to a newly formed entity known as Phantoms Hockey LLC, owned by the Brooks Group. Subsequently, the Brooks Group was granted approval to relocate its AHL franchise from Philadelphia to Glens Falls, N.Y., beginning with the 2009-10 season.

“On behalf of our Board, it’s my privilege to welcome these three cities to the AHL family,” said Andrews. “We are looking forward to these new opportunities in Austin and Abbotsford, and we’re excited to be returning to the rich AHL tradition and history in Glens Falls.”

The Texas Stars will begin play as the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Dallas Stars at the brand-new 6,800-seat Cedar Park Center in the Austin suburb of Cedar Park this fall. The Abbotsford club will serve as the Calgary Flames’ primary development team and play at the new state-of-the-art Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre. And the Philadelphia Flyers’ new affiliate will play in the Glens Falls Civic Center, which was home to four Calder Cup championship teams during the 1980’s and 1990’s.

In operation since 1936, the AHL continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. Nearly 85 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and this season marks the eighth consecutive year in which more than 6 million fans have attended AHL games across North America. Eight clubs remain in the hunt for the league’s coveted championship trophy as the second round of the 2009 Calder Cup Playoffs gets underway tonight.