Rumours surrounding the potential departure of the Abbotsford Heat and the arrival of a Vancouver Canucks affiliate to play out of the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre continue to persist.
The latest iteration of the speculation has the Heat moving to Utica, N.Y. – echoing reports that bubbled to the surface last month – and the Canucks purchasing the Peoria Rivermen from the St. Louis Blues and moving them to Abbotsford. The Blues would then link up with the Chicago Wolves, the Canucks’ current affiliate. Vancouver’s two-year affiliation agreement with the Wolves expires at the end of this season.
That configuration of AHL franchise movement originated via Twitter from Tom Mayenknecht, a sport business analyst who hosts a show on Vancouver’s Team 1040 radio station.
Blues chief operating officer Bruce Affleck, speaking to the Peoria Journal Star in response to the rumour, admitted the Peoria franchise’s future is “a bit in limbo.”
Heat team president Ryan Walter declined comment.