Canucks Seeking New AHL Affiliation with Moose Franchise Moving to St. John's

Kevin WContributor IIMay 21, 2011

HAMILTON, CANADA - JANUARY 7:  Mike Keane #12 of the Manitoba Moose looks on against the Hamilton Bulldogs during the AHL game on January 7, 2006 at Copps Colliseum in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.  The Bulldogs won 3-2.  (Photo By Dave Sandford/Getty Images)
Dave Sandford/Getty Images

According to a report published in The Telegram, the American Hockey League's Manitoba Moose are moving to the city of St. John's, Newfoundland, and the Vancouver Canucks will be without an AHL affiliate, at least for now.

The Moose franchise will continue to be owned and operated by True North Sports & Entertainment—the impending owners of the NHL Atlanta Thrashers franchise—for at least the upcoming season while a sale is completed to prospective local owner Danny Williams.

The Canucks signed an affiliation agreement with the Moose through the 2011-12 season back in 2009, but the report states that relationship will end as the Moose will become the top-minor league affiliate of the new Winnipeg NHL franchise.

At the same time, the Thrashers franchise's relationship with the AHL Chicago Wolves will end as well and the report suggests they could be the new AHL affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks. 

The Chicago Wolves, located in Rosemont, Illinois, play out of the 16,692 seat Allstate Arena.

Although they are located in the same market as the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks, the Wolves finished third in the league in total attendance and average attendance at 298,117 and 7,453, respectively, behind only the Hershey Bears and Manitoba Moose. 

Similar to the Moose, the Wolves operate like a NHL franchise and in the past have brought in players on one-way NHL contracts to bolster the team's fortunes. 

This past season the team brought in Jason Krog on a one-way contract from the Atlanta Thrashers and also added former 122-point man Darren Haydar on an American Hockey League contract.