NHL Team’s AHL Affiliates Origins

Most NHL fans are aware that each team in the league has an AHL affiliate. However, not everyone knows how or when each of their teams became affiliated with their AHL counterpart. I thought it would interesting to see when this happened for each team.

Anaheim Ducks – AHL Affiliate Norfolk Admirals.
One of the most recent team affiliations, the Admirals became Anaheim’s developmental AHL team in 2012 after the Tampa Bay Lightning moved their players from Norfolk to Syracuse.
Norfolk Admirals

Arizona Coyotes – AHL Affiliate Portland Pirates.
The then Phoenix Coyotes agreed to a five year developmental deal with the Portland Pirates in June of 2011.
Portland Pirates

Boston Bruins – AHL Affiliate Providence Bruins.
The Providence Bruins entered the AHL in 1992 as Boston’s affiliate and have remained as such since.
Providence Bruins

Buffalo Sabres – AHL Affiliate Rochester Americans.
Buffalo Sabres ownership purchased the Americans prior to the 1979-80 season, establishing them as their AHL affiliate until 2007-08. After a brief period where the team was affiliated with the Florida Panthers, Buffalo once again established ties with the team in 2011.
Rochester Americans

Calgary Flames – AHL Affiliate Adirondack Flames.
2014-15 will be the first year that Calgary has affiliated with Adirondack, and the inaugural season for the AHL’s Flames.
Adirondack Flames

Carolina Hurricanes – AHL Affiliate Charlotte Checkers.
Charlotte became Carolina’s affiliate in 2010 after moving from the ECHL to the AHL.
Charlotte Checkers

Chicago Blackhawks – AHL Affiliate Rockford IceHogs.
The IceHogs have been Chicago’s affiliate since the 2007-08 season, after moving to the AHL from the UHL.
Rockford IceHogs

Colorado Avalanche – AHL Affiliate Lake Erie Monsters.
Formerly the Utah Grizzlies, the Lake Erie Monsters have been Colorado’s affiliate since 2007.
Lake Erie Monsters

Columbus Blue Jackets – AHL Affiliate Springfield Falcons.
Columbus and Springfield have been affiliated since 2010. This is the seventh different team Springfield has been affiliated with since joining the AHL.
Springfield Falcons

Dallas Stars – AHL Affiliate Texas Stars.
The Texas Stars have been Dallas’ affiliate since 2009, when their former AHL affiliate the Iowa Stars folded.
Texas Stars

Detroit Red Wings – AHL Affiliate Grand Rapid Griffons.
One of the longer affiliated teams in the AHL, Grand Rapids has been Detroit’s developmental team since 2002.
Grand Rapids Griffons

Edmonton Oilers – AHL Affiliate Oklahoma City Oil Barons.
The Oil Barons have been the Oiler’s affiliate since joining the AHL in 2010.
Oklahoma City Oil Barons

Florida Panthers – AHL Affiliate San Antonio Rampage.
This is the second time that the Panthers have affiliated with San Antonio. The first was from 2002-2005 and the current stint started in 2011.
San Antonio Rampage

Los Angeles Kings – AHL Affiliate Manchester Monarchs.
The Monarchs were purchased by the Kings in 2000 and have been their affiliate since joining the AHL in 2001.
Manchester Monarchs

Minnesota Wild – AHL Affiliate Iowa Wild.
Previously the Houston Aeros, the Iowa Wild moved, changed their name, relocated, and became affiliated with Minnesota to start the 2013-14 season.
Iowa Wild

Montreal Canadiens – AHL Affiliate Hamilton Bulldogs.
After sharing the Bulldogs with the Edmonton Oilers, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Dallas Stars for several years, the Canadiens became their sole NHL parent team in 2006.
Hamilton Bulldogs

Nashville Predators – AHL Affiliate Milwaukee Admirals.
One of two Admiral teams in the AHL, Milwaukee was one of several teams that merged with the AHL from the folded IHL league. They have been Nashville’s AHL affiliate since joining the league in 2001.
Milwaukee Admirals

New Jersey Devils – AHL Affiliate Albany Devils.
Formerly the Lowell Devils, this franchise has been affiliate with New Jersey since 2006. They moved to Albany in 2010 however.
Albany Devils

New York Islanders – AHL Affiliate Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
The Sound Tigers have been the Islanders AHL affiliate since joining the league in 2001.
Bridgeport Sound Tigers

New York Rangers – AHL Affiliate Hartford Wolf Pack.
New York has been affiliated with this franchise since 1997. During that time the team was known has both the Hartford Wolf Pack and at times the Connecticut Whale.
Hartford Wolk Pack

Ottawa Senators – AHL Affiliate Binghamton Senators.
Binghamton has been Ottawa’s affiliate since rejoining the AHL in 2002 after a hiatus from the league and relocation from Prince Edward Island after temporarily ceasing operations in 1996.
Binghamton Senators

Philadelphia Flyers – AHL Affiliate Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
This upcoming 2014-25 season will be the first for this franchise in Lehigh. However, the Phantoms have been the Flyers AHL affiliate since 1996-97.
Lehigh Valley Phantoms

Pittsburgh Penguins – AHL Affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
The “Baby Penguins” franchise has been their NHL team’s affiliate since joining the AHL in 1999.
Wilkes-Barre-Scranton Penguins

San Jose Sharks – AHL Affiliate Worcester Sharks
San Jose has has an affiliation with this franchise since 2001 when they were the Cleveland Barons. The franchise moved to Worcester in 2006.
Worcester Sharks

St. Louis Blues – AHL Affiliate Chicago Wolves
2013-14 was the first year that the Wolves and Blues have been affiliated. Amazingly, the Wolves franchise has never has a losing season even though they’ve had multiple NHL teams affiliated throughout their history.
Chicago Wolves

Tampa Bay Lightning – AHL Affiliate Syracuse Crunch.
Tampa Bay switched their affiliation from Norfolk to Syracuse to begin the 2012-12 season. Basically trading AHL teams with Anaheim, who moved their team from Syracuse to Norfolk.
Syracuse Crunch

Toronto Maple Leafs – AHL Affiliate Toronto Marlies.
Probably the most storied minor league affiliation, this franchise has been the Maple Leafs developmentally team through three name changes and relocations. This franchise begin in 1978 as the St. Catherine’s Saints, before moving to Newmarket where they kept their nickname. After this they moved to St. John’s becoming the St. John’s Maple Leafs, before finally moving to Toronto and changing their name to the Marlies in 2005.
Toronto Marlies

Vancouver Canucks – AHL Affiliate Utica Comets.
One of the oldest minor league teams in the country, this team has been through many name changes and relocations since it’s founding in 1932. However, they’ve only been Vancouver’s AHL affiliate since 2013-14 when they move from Peoria to Utica.
Utica Comets

Washington Capitals – AHL Affiliate Hershey Bears.
Hershey is the longest continuously operating team in the AHL. They have been playing in the league since 1938 and have won more Calder Cups than any other team in the league. They became the AHL affiliate for the Capitals in 2005.
Hershey Bears

Winnipeg Jets – AHL Affiliate St. John’s IceCaps.
When the Atlanta Thrashers were purchased and moved to Winnipeg, the ownership wanted to have a minor league team closer to the NHL parent team. Because of this, the Manitoba Moose were relocated to St. Johns and became the Jets AHL affiliate to start the 2011-12 season.
St Johns IceCaps

Thanks for reading all of this if you did!


One thought on “NHL Team’s AHL Affiliates Origins

  1. Hi there! This article couldn’t be written any better!
    Going through this post reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He continually kept talking about this. I will send this article to him.
    Fairly certain he will have a very good read. I appreciate
    you for sharing!


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