The Vancouver Canucks and St. Louis Blues announced today that the teams will share the Utica Comets as an American Hockey League affiliate during the 2020-21 season.
The partnership was created after the Blues’ AHL affiliate, the Springfield Thunderbirds, opted out of the coming season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Canucks and Blues will each be responsible for filling roster spots on the Utica Comets. Team and business operations for the Comets will continue as in past years, including Robert Esche serving as team president, Ryan Johnson as general manager and Trent Cull as head coach.
“We are very pleased to partner with the Blues to find solutions that help both teams during this unique season,” said Canucks general manager Jim Benning. “We have strong leadership and support in Utica and I believe our players and our teams will benefit from this partnership.”
“Due to the unique circumstances, we are pleased to partner with Vancouver and Utica for the upcoming 2020-21 season,” said Blues president of hockey operations/general manager Doug Armstrong. “We trust that our players will be in good hands with the direction and leadership of the Canucks, Comets and especially Robert, Ryan and Trent.”
“Vancouver and Utica have worked together seamlessly over the past eight seasons, and this experience has been no different,” said Esche. “We look forward to the opportunity to work with the St. Louis Blues in the same fashion as our Vancouver Canucks.”