We’ve already reported on the possible move of the Norfolk Admirals to San Diego and the transfer of Oklahoma City Barons to Bakersfield, accompanied by a move of the ECHL’s Condors back to Norfolk. The Anaheim Ducks are said to be buying the Admirals for the move.
Two teams, however, aren’t enough. What’s now being discussed: a five-team, all-California AHL division with teams potentially in Ontario, Fresno and Stockton in addition to San Diego and Bakersfield. We have newer arenas in Ontario and Stockton, with Selland Arena adequate for pro hockey in Fresno.
There is some history to suggest a five team California AHL division could work: the IHL was successful on the West Coast, specifically in San Diego, where the Gulls were a major draw. And in a large market where there’s no current NHL and NBA teams, an AHL team would have the wintertime market to itself. From the Union-Tribune: