Having minor league clubs 3,000 miles away has always been a problem for NHL clubs such as Anaheim and Los Angeles.
This problem seems to have a new solution as a handful of a teams will be on the move for next season.
As reported by the Virgina-Pilot newspaper, the Norfolk Admirals, Anaheim’s affiliate club is on the move to San Diego, CA a city that has not had a professional hockey team since 2006.
Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau told the Minnesota Star Tribune back in December that having the Ducks’ affiliate move to California “would be a a big help for us as long as the kids wouldn’t have to bus to Springfield. It’s been an advantage for the Bruins having Providence so close or the Leafs and Marlies in Toronto or even Montreal and Hamilton.”
San Diego is less than 100 miles from Anaheim meaning they could finally do short notice call ups that do not require a 6 hour or more plane flight if a player is injured or sick.
Another California city in the mix for new teams would be Bakersfield. The city could be a good relocation spot for the Oklahoma City Barons who announced that after this season they would cease operations in OKC.
Bakersfield, which currently has an ECHL club, would most likely move that club to the now future vacant arena in Norfolk, VA.
Ontario, Stockton and Fresno are all rumored to be possible destination spots for teams as well, but nothing solid has surfaced for those moves as of yet, though the LA Kings whom own their Manchester, NH team would most likely view Ontario as a great relocation spot.
Image via Toronto Star