The Alaska Aces' affiliation with the NHL's Calgary Flames and its American Hockey League farm team, which furnished the ECHL club with strong players in their march to the third Kelly Cup in franchise history, is dead after one year, killed by geography.
Aces coach Rob Murray said the offseason move of Calgary's American Hockey League team from Abbotsford, British Columbia, to Glen Falls, New York, complicated the Aces' deal with Calgary. Shuttling players between Anchorage and upstate New York looked untenable, especially when compared to how quickly players previously traveled between Anchorage and Abbotsford last season. Calgary this week announced the Colorado Eagles as its new ECHL affiliate.
"It's unfortunate and very disappointing the affiliation with Calgary was severed,'' Murray said. "They just figured the distance between Anchorage and Glen Falls was insurmountable.
"We had a great relationship. (Calgary) loved having their players here.''
Murray said he has been talking to NHL teams about an affiliation throughout the offseason and believes he'll secure a deal.
"I'm aggressively pursuing affiliations,'' Murray said. "I'm optimistic.''