AHL West Post-Press Conference News and Notes

AHLFollowing are selected comments and notes from the five NHL clubs who will place their AHL affiliates in California beginning with the 2015-16 season:

– The AHL Board has approved relocation for five teams. … The Calgary Flames affiliate is going from Glens Falls, N.Y., to Stockton, Calif. … The Edmonton Oilers affiliate is are going from Oklahoma City, Okla., to Bakersfield, Calif. … The Los Angeles Kings affiliate is going from Manchester, N.H., to Ontario, Calif. … The San Jose Sharks affiliate is going from Worcester, Mass., to San Jose, Calif. … Additionally, the Anaheim Ducks will purchase the Norfolk Admirals AHL franchise and move it from Norfolk, Va., to San Diego, Calif.

– The Oilers have confirmed Bakersfield will keep the Condors name. Ontario will still be the Reign. Stockton is expected to be the Flames. San Jose will be announcing their team name and colors “at a later date” (note: it is expected to be the Seals). Per Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register, Anaheim is likely to go with Gulls, Ducks or Admirals. The name and jersey will officially be released at a Ducks Fan Fest event being held in San Diego on Feb. 22.

– As John Hoven first reported earlier today, the new Reign jersey will be unveiled at a press event in Ontario on Feb. 11.

– AHL President David Andrews: “Relocating five teams is a complex process, and we are very excited to have brought this initiative to a successful outcome,” he said. “The Western-based NHL clubs have been in dialogue with our league for almost three years, and today’s announcement launches a new era for the American Hockey League and for professional hockey in California.”

– Luc Robitaille, President of Business Operations for the Los Angeles Kings: “This is a wonderful growth opportunity for the game of hockey in the Western region and it will have a tremendous impact for years to come,” he said. “I want to commend each of the participating clubs, along with Dave Andrews, Bill Daly and Gary Bettman, for their commitment, patience and willingness to work through a very challenging but worthwhile process in order to get to this day.”

– Oilers President of Hockey Operations Kevin Lowe: “We want to thank and congratulate the AHL, NHL and our fellow member clubs in making the Pacific Division a reality through hard work and collaboration. The Edmonton Oilers are extremely excited about this new opportunity to enhance our development system and help grow the game of hockey in California. We couldn’t be more pleased in our partnership with Bakersfield over the last year and I can’t say enough good things about the fans and the city of Bakersfield.”

– Sharks Chief Operating Officer John Tortora: “This is an exciting day for the San Jose Sharks organization and for hockey fans throughout the state of California,” he said. “Having our AHL club playing in close proximity to our NHL club has innumerable benefits for the development for our young players and prospects. It also provides an opportunity for the Sharks organization to grow Sharks Territory and enhance our footprint into what is an already hockey-crazy market.”

– Ducks named Ari Segal as both President of Business Operations for Anaheim’s San Diego-based AHL affiliate and Special Assistant to Ducks CEO Michael Schulman. Segal has been a consultant to Schulman for the last three years, advising on a range of special projects including preparations for the new AHL club. He recently worked with the NHL in New York in the league’s broadcast media strategy group, evaluating league and club broadcast rights and distribution deals.

– Ducks owner Henry Samueli: “With five new AHL teams in the state, today is a landmark day for hockey in California. We’ve long been excited by the idea of San Diego, which has a successful track record for supporting hockey, as our AHL home. We are extremely pleased and proud to bring the hockey back to the market.”

– Full division alignments and schedule formats for the 2015-16 AHL season will be determined by the AHL Board of Governors at a later date.

– The Kings’ ECHL affiliate will be moving to Manchester. A press conference to formally announce those plans is set to take place tomorrow. Andy Tonge of MayorsManor will be on hand covering the event live, give him on a follow on Twitter for real-time notes and quotes.

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