"What did the 5 fingers say to the face? SLAP!" - Dave Chappelle on Chappelle's Show
The line came during the infamous Rick James sketch and it's a beauty. It came to mind to me today when I heard the that the news was official - the Calgary Flames are moving their AHL affiliate from Quad City to Abbotsford B.C. for next season. Here's the release on the AHL site.
"What did the Calgary Flames say to the WHL? SLAP!"
Dropping a pro hockey franchise into the backyard of the Chilliwack Bruins isn't going to go over very well with the WHL. The Flames aren't making any friends with this move, unless it's quietly the Edmonton Oilers and the Vancouver Canucks who might welcome having their AHL teams located closer and just needed someone else to set the precedent.
The Flames own the Hitmen which makes this an even bigger mess. There will be WHL owners outside of just Vancouver and Chilliwack who oppose what the Calgary ownership is doing.
The news about Austin Texas getting into the AHL is interesting too, especially thr part about it be contingent on them owning a AHL franchise within a year.
Gee, I wonder if there are any AHL franchises available, say one that has been on the shelf for a few years just waiting for an interested partnership.
The Texas Stars will start out being affiliated with Dallas but it might be a good fit for the Oilers in 2010-11 too.
Lastly, the Philadelphia Phantoms are on the move to Glenn Falls, NY. I'm actually a bit surprised by that move considering the Flyers were the envy of every other NHL club in that their farm team was at the end of the hall. Obviously the sale was contingent on the team moving and although I don't know that neck of the U.S. geography off the top of my head, it's not like the Phantoms are moving to Iowa; They'll still be close.
I still think it would be great if Utah, Stockton, Las Vegas and maybe another one of the California based ECHL teams could somehow become AHL Affiliates. With Oklahoma City and Kanasas City still looking for pro hockey teams and the current western AHL clubs, you could have NHL clubs out west much closer to their farm teams which would be a positive. The downer would be that it would mean the relocation of a few Eastern based AHL teams and that is never a good thing... unless the fanbase doesn't care anymore.