Report: Canucks "Likely" to go without AHL affiliate this season

Thomas Drance
May 13 2013 09:17AM

Here's some bad news from the Peoria Journal Star's Dave Eminian:

The possibility that Vancouver wouldn't be able to find a spot to park their newly acquired AHL affiliate has been broached previously by Mike Gillis, but still, this comes as a bit of a surprise. Read past the jump.

It was obvious that the Canucks were originally hoping to move their newly acquired AHL affiliate to the Fraser Valley, before a three-way deal with the city and the Calgary Flames fell apart. Since then it has been speculated that perhaps Rogers Arena could be a spot for the Canucks to operate an American Hockey League team locally, though Mike Gillis wrote off that possibility in his season ending press conference.

Dave Eminian's reporting has been solid throughout this Peoria/Abbotsford/Chicago saga, and frankly, I think we should take his report completely unsalted. The Canucks may yet manage to work out a deal with some city or arena in the next six weeks, but there isn't much in the way of whispers or reports of negotiations out in the public sphere currently. The lack of smoke may not tell us much, but the calender does, and it would appear that the club is running out of time.

For all of the hand-wringing about how the Chicago Wolves prioritized winning over player development, going a full season without an AHL affiliate of any kind would be a much worse situation for Vancouver's already weakened prospect pool. Had the Canucks operated their own AHL affiliate we would've probably seen the likes of Nicklas Jensen, Henrik Tommernes, Peter Andersson, and Alexandres Grenier and Malllet given prominent roles. Scattered across the American Hockey League on loans, that's a much less likely proposition.

Update:

Brad Ziemer asked Canucks Assistant General Manager Laurence Gilman for comment on this latest report and got nothing:

Which doesn't tell us anything at all, really, but is worth including I figure.

3136ae487fac57943f99a50e66e4d6cf
Thomas Drance lives in Toronto, eats spicy food and writes about hockey. He is an NHL News Editor at theScore, the ex-managing editor of CanucksArmy.com and an opinionated blowhard to boot. You can follow him on twitter @thomasdrance.
Avatar
#1 Mantastic
May 13 2013, 11:08AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
1
props

@Rivalpiper

the players the Riverman owned (the ones they signed contracts to) will stick with the team, the prospects owned by the Blues will be going to the wolves next season.

Canuck fans would be thilled if they actually had all the players from the Riverman team. that would be a great trade.

Avatar
#2 Mantastic
May 13 2013, 10:02AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

great development strategy, the envy of the league.

Avatar
#3 GRR
May 13 2013, 10:12AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Idont know guys....I'm really starting to lose faith in Mike Gillis ability...to do anything.

As time goes by, he seems to be showing more and more incompetence.

I don"t think the man has any idea what hes doing anymore.

Avatar
#4 loinstache
May 13 2013, 10:12AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Tired but true Canuck fan but considering how the organization decided to 'compensate' fans for the lock-out, the way the season went, the absolutely embarrassing way the goalie situation was handled and now this I've got to admit I've lost a lot of respect for this club this year.

Avatar
#5 loinstache
May 13 2013, 10:15AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

How much of this is on GMMG, serious question? To be honest I haven't been on a fire MG bandwagon (yet) because of unforeseeable poor luck colouring some of his decisions, but if this is included in his handy work... this is a new level of mismanagement.

Avatar
#6 Rivalpiper
May 13 2013, 10:18AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Newbie hockey fan here. With the purchase of the Rivermen, do the Canucks now manage those Peoria players? Or are our Chicago Wolves magically transformed into (Peoria) Rivermen? It seems ridiculous to spend so much time/effort/money to acquire prospects, and then leave them behind with a new team acquisition.

Avatar
#7 Mantastic
May 13 2013, 11:06AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@loinstache

MG is the GM and the president of hockey ops of the Canucks. so this would be his fault.

Avatar
#8 .
May 13 2013, 11:22AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

I hate to add to all the criticism and make the comments section seem like CDC or hf... But what the hell is going on here? I'm not blaming this all on Gillis but the organization is really starting to lose it if this is actually true, it just screams of utter incompetence on their part. Now you can basically wash away a year of development for their AHL prospects all because they didn't have a proper plan in place if Abbotsford didn't work out... Is this organization seriously arrogant enough to think they could simply take the Heat out of Abbotsford this year without a hitch?! It's pretty obvious they were just bluffing on putting the farm team in GM place.

God damnit now I'm sounding exactly like the type of fans I hate... But this is really scary if its true.

Avatar
#9 EVT
May 13 2013, 11:33AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Ugh. More ammo for the haters. The problems just keep piling on.

So what's next? Sedins announcing that they're leaving after their contract is up? :p

*nervous laughter*

Avatar
#10 BrudnySeaby
May 13 2013, 11:38AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

I think perhaps this is just a bluffing game from the Canucks where they are trying to get a better deal for the Peoria arena.

I mean, they "own" the team (or rather the rights, I guess!?), they have a bunch of AHL players that they want to develop, and they also have Arniel under contract to coach. So wouldn't the Canucks do anything to be able to operate the team?

Avatar
#11 KleptoKlown
May 13 2013, 12:37PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Not having a team is pretty much the worst possible outcome. If this does happen, Gilly should be publicly flogged before being fired. Not once have I thought Gilly should be fired, but this is the straw that breaks the camel's back.

Avatar
#12 Unknown Comic
May 13 2013, 01:46PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Mantastic wrote:

MG is the GM and the president of hockey ops of the Canucks. so this would be his fault.

Where do Vikings come from?

Avatar
#13 Mantastic
May 13 2013, 02:05PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@Unknown Comic

Norway. and what's your point. that's the only thing you kep bringing up because that's all you "have"

Avatar
#14 AC
May 13 2013, 03:22PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

This probably has more to do with ownership than it does Gillis.

Aquillini wants a AHL team in the Fraser Valley (for good reason). They couldn't get it done this year, but the owner's probably hoping that things change next year. If that's the case, why plug the team somewhere for just one year (if one could even do that)? And why would, say, Peoria want a team with just a one year commitment?

I'm not blaming GMMG for this one. This is about the bigger picture beyond next year, not just in player devolpment, but business development as well. Likely, his hands are tied.

Avatar
#15 elvis15
May 13 2013, 03:50PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@AC

Exactly. The rumour is the Aquilini's would lose $1.5M operating the team in Peoria again this coming season. Moving the team short term is also likely an unnecessary expense when they could just wait a year and try again for Abby. Having said that, they have about a month to decide what to do and there is also the rumour that the team will operate an AHL affiliate next season.

Avatar
#16 puck-bandit
May 13 2013, 05:12PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Been reading all the great articles, but this really takes the pudding. I tend to write without showing too much distain for the organization that I have supported for many years, but it's due. We have little in the Canuck Cupboards as it is, now we are shipping, or loaning our prospects away. The level of failure lately gets difficult to bare here. Really comes down to no control over development, the other team won't give our kids that consideration, as with Chicago. Will we get a chance to get them on a rotating roster, I would say not likely. These compounding failures belong to the very man that has yet to take one iota of responsibility for the Canuck disaster on ice-capades. Good business sense would have been to secure a rink then make the notification to us paying public. Mike is so smug and reckless he has now become the butt end of a bad joke. I feel for the kids, and can only imagine how they feel, all the uncertainty and knowing the level of incompetence the organization has shown. Something either has to give, or go.

Avatar
#17 Bruce Pratt
May 13 2013, 05:48PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Yeah--and they never win,what a suprise. A lamentable franchsie at best with soft twins.

Avatar
#18 Walter Mc Crae
May 13 2013, 06:41PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@Bruce Pratt

Agreed. No accountability and incompetence are the hallmarks of this franchise. The fact that they expect the Sedin's to lead them to anything is a sign of the organization's sheer scope of delusion.

Avatar
#19 Lemming
May 13 2013, 06:49PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Why not Victoria? They only have the ECHL, I'm sure a bump up to the AHL would be welcome.

Avatar
#20 KleptoKlown
May 13 2013, 08:37PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@Lemming

The ECHL Victoria Salmon King left town in 2011. They were replaced with the WHL Victoria Royals.

The Save on Foods Memorial Center is the only arena in Victoria that could support an AHL team. I would personally love it if the Royals could share the arena with the Canucks farm team, but the Royals won't be leaving town any time soon.

Avatar
#21 2gangsta2care
May 13 2013, 09:01PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

I doubt they went out and bought an AHL team only to put it on ice and scatter their players. Seems like there's more to the story

Avatar
#22 2gangsta2care
May 13 2013, 09:02PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

pun intended

Avatar
#23 Lemming
May 13 2013, 09:28PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@KleptoKlown

Thanks for the history lesson, I didn't realize the ECHL had left.

Avatar
#24 true homer
May 13 2013, 10:04PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

No big deal the canucks never liked to develope young talent anyway, they prefer to trade them away in keeping with their Cam Neely tradition.

Avatar
#25 Soren
May 14 2013, 12:55AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Well looks like the leafs just pulled a Canuck against the Bruins. Never a surprise so see one of Burkes team implode. Good to know both the teams Burke put together are DOA.

Avatar
#26 chinook
May 14 2013, 11:39AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@Elvis 15

If Aquilini is worried about losing $1.5M in Peoria, imagine how excited he will be to kiss goodbye to $8.4M writing off Keith Ballard's contract.

Avatar
#27 antonkolstee
May 14 2013, 08:17PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Dear owners; coaches and to who it may concern 1. please trade Luango for 2 good young forwards; and use your draft pick for a new line next year;

Comments are closed for this article.