The Vancouver Canucks will have 30 more days to find a city and arena for their American Hockey League team to play out of, according to the Vancouver Sun.
The deadline to apply for relocation was May 13 and the Canucks were granted an extension by the AHL Board of Governors. If they cannot find a city to house the team by June 12, the Canucks will be forced to pay the league a $150,000 fee to suspend operations for one-year and will have to assign their prospects to different teams in the AHL. Each individual player assignment would have to be negotiated between the Canucks, the AHL team and its parent NHL club.
The Canucks have ruled out playing the 2013-14 season in Peoria and the city is currently pursuing a Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) team.
The Journal Star in Peoria reports the Canucks will “most likely” suspend the operations of its team and play without an affiliate next season.
AHL and NHL sources say it is most likely the Canucks will declare their farm team dormant for the 2013-14 season. In that scenario, they would loan their prospects to other teams in the AHL.
The Canucks wanted their AHL team because they wanted to take control of the development and were not happy with how the Chicago Wolves organization placed greater emphasis on winning than development. Despite this, the Canucks had their own coaching staff with the Wolves and were able to implement their own system as part of their affiliation agreement. The similar system allowed a much more seamless transition for players called up to the big club.
If the Canucks are forced to assign their prospects to different teams, they will have no control over the player’s coach, system, and development at all.