The Edmonton Oilers have no plans to move their AHL affiliate Bakersfield Condors closer to home.
Oilers president Bob Nicholson confirmed such news to the Edmonton Sun’s Terry Jones.
The news comes days after the Oilers’ arch-rival Calgary Flames announced they would be relocating their AHL franchise from Stockton to Calgary.
It’s no major surprise. As Jones noted in his above article, the players and organization seem to love it in Bakersfield, where the town has rallied around the club thanks to some great hockey teams over the years.
While Jay Woodcroft and Dave Manson were there, they helped to develop a slew of players who now are having massive impacts on the big club in Evan Bouchard, Kailer Yamamoto, and Ryan McLeod. Others like Philip Broberg, Tyler Benson, Dimitri Samorukov, Markus Neimelainen, Dylan Holloway, and Raphael Lavoie are all guys knocking on the NHL’s door.
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With the flight from Bakersfield to Edmonton only being three hours away, it’s not like there’s difficult travel involved should a player need to be recalled.
Across Canada, a number of teams have AHL affiliates nearby. The Vancouver Canucks have the Abbotsford Canucks just down the road, while the Ottawa Senators have the Belleville Senators nearby too. The Winnipeg Jets have the Manitoba Moose in town, as do the Toronto Maple Leafs with their Marlies. Lastly, the Montreal Canadiens have their AHL affiliate, the Laval Rockets, just a stones throw away.
Could the Oilers’ mind chance in the future? Sure. Rogers Place has the ability to hold another hockey team, but for now, that’s just a pipedream.