The American Hockey League Board of Governors will vote on the relocation of the Vancouver Canucks-owned Peoria Rivermen to Utica, New York on Thursdat at 8:30 am PDT, according to News 1130. The relocation is expected to receive approval.
There were reports that a team—perhaps the Syracuse Crunch—was opposed the relocation of the Rivermen to Utica, but it appears that hurdle has been cleared. It has been a two-and-a-half month struggle to find a home for the Canucks prospects.
It all began when the Canucks announced on April 1st that they had purchased the Rivermen from Tom Stillman and the St. Louis Blues—effectively ending their affiliation with the Chicago Wolves. The sale was approved by the AHL Board of Governors on April 18 and the Canucks began working towards finding a home for the team.
The Canucks tried to move the Rivermen to Abbotsford, but they could not reach an agreement in the limited amount of time. Rogers Arena was also ruled out since it was within the exclusive territory of the Heat. They couldn’t reach an agreement to keep the team in Peoria either as the Canucks wanted a break-even operation and $1 million in upgrades. Peoria officials wanted none of that.
The deadline to apply for relocation was May 13 and the Canucks had no agreement in place. They were granted a 30-day extension by the Board of Governors and had until June 12 to apply.
It appears everything will be coming to an end this Thursday. Though depending on the length of the deal, the Abbotsford relocation talk will spruce up again in the not too long future.