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02-26-2013, 04:11 PM
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The Calgary Flames, the franchise reported to be moving its affiliate from Abbotsford to Utica, has flat out denied anything is in the works.

And former NHL goalie and Whitesboro native Robert Esche, a main investor behind the effort to land an AHL team, said nothing is definite yet. Esche, though, remains optimistic that the possibility is a realistic one.
It appears that there's a group of promoters, lead by former Flyers goaltender and Utica-area native Robert Esche, who is exploring options with several NHL teams to locate an AHL team in Utica. They think Calgary is the most promising, because their affiliate (Abbotsford Heat) has been a perennial money loser, it is isolated as the only AHL team in its time zone, its attendance is adversely impacted by its close proximity to Vancouver, and it has horrendous scheduling and travel issues.
There are impacts with the Utica College and MVCC hockey programs to consider, both of which have agreements with the City extending several years. In the recent past Utica College has explored building their own arena on the campus, but no firm plans to do this have been made public.

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