It appears that Canadian teams are preparing for the possibility of moving their US-based AHL affiliates north of the border for the 2020-21 season.
In his 31 Thoughts column, Friedman said there has been talk that three Canadian clubs — the Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks — are preparing to make this significant move.
Here’s Friedman’s full comment:
This depends on what happens with the border, but there is talk that Canadian-based NHL teams with U.S.-based AHL affiliates are considering moving them north of the 49th for the 2020–21 season. That’s Calgary/Stockton; Edmonton/Bakersfield; and Vancouver/Utica. It makes sense, because a quarantine period would mean you can’t call up players. Not sure if those teams would be based out of the NHL buildings or centralized, but it is something these three organizations must prepare for.
The speculation makes sense and given the quarantine restrictions in place it could make things tough. I suppose another thing that the NHL could do is allow the three Canadian clubs to carry a larger roster that would include a number of call-up potential players.
But in that, it would cripple the AHL clubs and for the Condors, they already struggled enough last season when the club lost Ethan Bear, Caleb Jones and Kailer Yamamoto to the big club.
I’ve always been in the mindset that organizations should have their AHL affiliates as close in geographic proximity to their NHL-parent clubs as possible. The Oilers, of course, had brought their AHL club to Edmonton in 2004-05 and the Roadrunners played out of Rexall Place along with the Oilers.
This will be an interesting story to follow.
On Twitter: @zjlaing