Writers Note: I'm not usually one to write about rumors but this information I have gathered seems accurate and important.
In 2005-2006 the Dallas Stars gained a new AHL affiliate in the Iowa Stars. The AHL Stars provided many Dallas prospects a place to show their skills, and many former AHL Stars now make up the roster of the Dallas team that was a deep playoff contender.
In February 2008, the Dallas Stars announced they would be affiliating with the future Texas Stars, pending the 2009 completion of an arena near Austin, Texas. It is unknown if the Dallas Stars will have an AHL affiliate for the 2008-2009 season.
With the Dallas Stars' affiliate situation addressed lets mention the Ducks' current AHL situation.
The Ducks AHL affiliate, the Portland Pirates, lost in the AHL Eastern Conference Finals to the Penguins AHL affiliate. It is heavily rumored the Pirates will become the affiliate for the Buffalo Sabres, leaving the Ducks with only the ECHL affiliate, the Bakersfield Condors.
Originally, when these rumors surfaced my mind went to who the Ducks could get—it has been heavily quoted that Brian Burke "wants all affiliates in California."
This idea is several years from happening, but moving the affiliate westward is a good start.
Iowa seems like a great fit for the Anaheim Ducks, with a great fan-base in Des Moines. Also, with a closer leap than Portland, Maine, the Ducks would seem to come out a winner in this situation.
In Iowa, a new team name, affiliation, colors, and mascot are expected to be announced once the Calder Cup and Stanley Cup playoffs have concluded.
No confirmation has been made yet by the Ducks or Sabres, but all of the rumors mentioned seem likely—and smart investments for all teams involved.
For more information and updated news on the Anaheim Ducks during the offseason be sure to check out The Puck Drop: Your Source for Everything Anaheim Ducks.
More information on the affiliation situation can be found at: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080507/SPORTS1403/805070371/1020
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