The Calgary Flames announced the name and logo of their new American Hockey League affiliate, the Calgary Wranglers via press release on Tuesday.
The reveal follows the relocation of the Flames' previous affiliate, the Stockton Heat, based out of Stockton, Calif. The Heat served as the teams' affiliate for seven seasons.
Rumblings about the possibility of a move started after the Heat's initial five-year agreement with the city to use Stockton Arena expired in 2020. While a one-year extension was approved, the COVID-19 pandemic saw the creation of a temporary Canadian division for the following AHL season in an effort to avoid cross-border travel.
The Heat subsequently spent the altered season playing out of Calgary and sharing the Scotiabank Saddledome with the Flames. While it was originally only a quick fix — and the team returned to Stockton for the 2021-2022 season — the arrangement was approved to become permanent back in May of this year after the AHL's board of governors signed off on an official move from California to Calgary.
The relocation marks the eighth time the NHL franchise has moved their AHL affiliate.
The announcement of the Flames' new affiliate does not mark the first time a team in the city has donned the Wranglers name. From 1977-1987 the Calgary Wranglers were a team in the Western Canadian Junior Hockey League (WCHL), which graduated Flames Alumni such as Kelly Kisio, Dana Myzyn, Mark Tindordi and Mike Vernon to the National Hockey League.
The revival of the name, and a similar logo, is an homage to the city's hockey history.
The new Calgary Wranglers will be looking to build on the Heat's success from the 2021-2022 AHL season, after the team finished second in the league with a 45-16-7 record for 97 points and won the Pacific Division, earning their way to the Western Conference Finals of the Calder Cup Playoffs.
The team will open their 2022-2023 season against the Coachella Valley Firebirds, the new affiliate of the Seattle Kraken, on Oct. 16 at Scotiabank Saddledome.
According to the Flames, additional team announcements are still to come, including the reveal of the Wranglers' home and away uniforms, as well as a secondary logo.