AHL Board of Governors approves relocation of Canucks’ affiliate

Francesco Aquilini, owner of the Vancouver Canucks.

The Vancouver Canucks have been given the go-ahead to relocate their American Hockey League affiliate to Abbotsford, B.C., in the 2021-22 season, the league’s Board of Governors announced Thursday.

The team stated its intention to move from Utica, N.Y., to British Columbia on Tuesday, announcing that a deal with the city was close to being finalized. The Utica Comets have been the Canucks’ farm team since 2013.

A move will come with a new team name and logo, and the new affiliate is set to play out of the Abbotsford Centre.

“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 of Canucks Sports & Entertainment, in a press release.

“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.”

Utica will become the home of the New Jersey Devils’ farm team, the AHL also announced Thursday, relocating from Binghamton, N.Y.

The league says that division alignments and schedule formats for the upcoming season will be announced on a later date.

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