The American Hockey League will move five franchises to California next season, the league announced Thursday.
The Ducks' affiliate will move from Norfolk, Va., to San Diego. The Flames will move their affiliate from Glens Falls, N.Y., to Stockton, Calif. The Oilers' affiliate in Oklahoma City will move to Bakersfield, Calif. The Kings will relocate the Manchester Monarchs from New Hampshire to Ontario, Calif., and the Sharks will share their home arena with their farm team.
Stockton, Bakersfield and Ontario all currently have teams in the ECHL. San Diego has been without a professional hockey team since the ECHL's San Diego Gulls folded in 2006.
"Relocating five teams is a complex process, and we are very excited to have brought this initiative to a successful outcome," AHL CEO David Andrews 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."
- Dan Gartland