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Canucks purchase Peoria AHL franchise from Blues

Apr 1, 2013, 3:14 PM EDT

Peoria Rivermen

The Vancouver Canucks have purchased the Peoria Rivermen AHL franchise from the St. Louis Blues.

It’s been speculated the Canucks will move the Rivermen to Abbotsford, a Vancouver suburb currently home to Calgary’s AHL affiliate.

Abbotsford has struggled to attract fans to watch the Flames’ farm team in a pro-Canucks market, with one notable exception: when Vancouver’s AHL team from Chicago is in town.

For now, Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini is only calling it an “exciting opportunity,” adding that the “purchase of the Peoria franchise allows us to take an important step and assume full control of our minor league development program.”

According to The Province, it’s possible the Blues could move their AHL program to Chicago and the Flames could end up in Utica, New York.

  1. canucks30 - Apr 1, 2013 at 3:41 PM


  2. blomfeld - Apr 1, 2013 at 4:19 PM


    Notwithstanding the fact that Abbotsford is the epicenter of “drug&gang” activity in the lower mainland while also being the home for at least 6 x “federal & provincial” correctional facilities, the bottom line is that this was a very prudent acquisition by the Aquilini’s. Truth be known, it’s in places like Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Mission and Maple Ridge where “real” Canuck fans live. They’re a “decent, honest and hard-working” type of folk for the most part … and man do they ever love their Canucks! Conversely, the people who you see on TV at Rogers Arena are quite the opposite. Coming mostly from “swank & uppity” neighborhoods like Yaletown and West Van, these moneyed “parasites” actually know little about the game and nor do they care. Their only concern is to be “seen” at a Canuck’s game and nothing more, because that’s the perceived “cool” thing to do. And that’s a shame, as these shallow “bourgeois” leeches have long since pushed away the “real fans” (from places like Abbotsford) from attending games by driving up ticket prices to almost stratospheric levels.

    Executive Summary: “real” Canuck fans will soon have the opportunity to support their team “in person” vis-a-vis a genuine, local, affiliate of the team proper … and the “fake” fans from Yaletown can continue throwing their money away with their vain attempts to be seen …

  3. canucks30 - Apr 1, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    For an LA Kings fan you seem to be rather obsessed with all things Canucks

  4. canucks30 - Apr 1, 2013 at 4:40 PM

  5. comeonnowguys - Apr 1, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    How many frigging teams from western Illinois is Abbotsford going to steal?

  6. umrguy42 - Apr 1, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    So… why would you buy another team’s affiliate (and maybe move it) rather than sticking with your own (and moving it if needed)? I’m curious at this in both NHL, and a similar story (of a potential purchase) in baseball. I mean, the players essentially with the parent club, so… why?

    • soro17 - Apr 1, 2013 at 6:19 PM

      The Canucks don’t own their current affiliate.

    • ftrinchijr - Apr 1, 2013 at 6:20 PM

      Not every team owns their minor league franchise. Some are independently owned (like the Chicago Wolves) and maintain their independent identities even though they sign an agreement to be affiliated. Some minor league teams change their mascot names and colors to identify with whatever team they are affiliated with, but are still independently owned. So if the Canucks want to move their minor league franchise closer, they need to own a franchise first. Same goes with baseball. The Phillies went through this with the Scranton Wilkes Barre Red Barons. They did not own them. So they had to buy a team in order to move it closer (Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs). SWB is now a Yankees affiliate I think.

      • umrguy42 - Apr 2, 2013 at 9:04 AM

        Ahhhh, I see. Now I’m wondering how sweet an offer the Canucks made, as the Rivermen were owned by the Blues owner, if I’m not mistaken.

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