The Colorado Eagles are still mulling their options for joining the AHL, a move that would bump the franchise up from the ECHL
With the addition of the Vegas Golden Knights this year, the NHL stands at 31 teams. However, the AHL has not announced plans to add a 31st club for this season, leaving the possibility open that the Eagles could fill that void as early as the 2018-19 season by obtaining AHL membership.
As noted here last month, there has been some discussion about the Eagles making the jump from the ECHL to the AHL. Should that move take place, it could enable the Eagles to become the AHL affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche. The Eagle are the current ECHL affiliate of the Avalanche, and offer the advantage of being located within a close proximity to the NHL club’s home in Denver.
Currently, the Avalanche are affiliated with the San Antonio Rampage in the AHL. Eagles general manager and president Chris Stewart says that there is some interest in pairing with the Avalanche should his club move up to a higher level, but acknowledges that there are still numerous uncertainties that will need to be resolved before a move is made. More from The Denver Post:
Because the Avs remain under contract with the Rampage, they declined to comment about the Eagles and the AHL.
“We are interested. The Avalanche has some interest,” Stewart said of the possible AHL relationship. “Whether or not that works with their San Antonio agreement or not, I don’t know. Like I said, there are a lot of moving parts. But we would want that affiliate at another level.”
He added: “When you’re talking with the NHL, and especially the Avalanche, which has done so much for the good of hockey in the state of Colorado, I don’t want to step out of line. We’re very respectful of the Avalanche and what they’ve done for hockey, and the Eagles, as hockey continues to grow in this state.”
It is likely that the team’s home, the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, would require some upgrades if the Eagles make the move to the AHL.
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