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Canucks announce intention to move AHL franchise west

The Vancouver Canucks confirmed today their intent to relocate the club’s American Hockey League affiliate to Abbotsford, B.C., for the start the 2021-22 season. Details of a partnership with the City of Abbotsford are being finalized and the relocation will be subject to AHL Board of Governors approval on May 6.

“With momentum starting to build, we are pleased to confirm our goal to bring our AHL franchise and Canucks prospects home to the City of Abbotsford,” said Francesco Aquilini, Chairman, Canucks Sports & Entertainment. “The move would bring significant opportunities for both our team and the community and it would begin a new chapter, bringing Canucks hockey to even more fans throughout the Lower Mainland.”

The intended home of the Canucks new AHL affiliate is the Abbotsford Centre. The team would have a new name, brand, and logo, and play in the AHL’s Pacific Division. Further details and public comments await completion of the partnership agreement and AHL Board of Governors approval.

The Canucks and Utica Comets have enjoyed a successful partnership over the past eight years, highlighted by an exciting run to the Calder Cup Finals in 2014-15.

“We are extremely grateful for the outstanding partnership and working relationship we’ve had with Robert Esche and the entire Utica Comets family,” continued Aquilini. “Since 2013, we have worked closely to create a first-class hockey environment for our players and Utica’s great fans. Utica has one of the best, most energetic hockey environments in North America. We wish Robert, his staff and the incredible Comets fans nothing but success in the future.”