Canucks plan to relocate AHL affiliate to Abbotsford for 2021-22 season

An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)

The Vancouver Canucks are planning to relocate their American Hockey League affiliate to Abbotsford, B.C. from Utica, N.Y., for the 2021-22 season, the team announced Tuesday.

The Canucks say details of a deal with the City of Abbotsford are being finalized and the move will be subject to approval from the AHL's Board of Governors 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 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."

The Canucks' farm team would play out of the Abbotsford Centre with a new name, brand and logo.

Aquilini thanked the Utica Comets organization for their "successful partnership" over the past eight years.

"We are extremely grateful for the outstanding partnership and working relationship we've had with Robert Esche and the entire Utica Comets family," he 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."

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