Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 11/16/14
Closer Together!

Good Morning, everyone, I hope your weekend went well and you didn’t wake up last night at 2 o’clock in the morning with a fever and sore throat.

Anyways, lets move on and get at it.

Should the Canucks seriously pursue the purchase of the Abbotsford Heat?

Not every NHL team has the luxury of having their AHL affiliate within close proximity of the parent team and while there are 30 AHL teams to match the 30 NHL teams, the American Hockey League only has four Canadian teams.

The Saint Johns Icecaps, Abbotsford Heat, Toronto Marlies and the Hamilton Bulldogs. The parent clubs of which are located in Winnipeg, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal respectively.

All close enough for a quick recall for a home game.

The Canucks don’t really have that luxury. Vancouver is currently going into the second year of a two-year affiliation agreement with the Chicago Wolves.

So what happens when that agreement is up?

While the easiest and most logical assumption is that Vancouver and Chicago sign another affiliation deal, it’s interesting to note that rumors have popped up regarding Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini at least enquiring about the purchase of the Abbotsford Heat, the current AHL affiliate of the Calgary Flames.

Of course those are just rumors, the likes of which are obvious enough even for certain “insiders” like “HockeyyInsiderrs”.

Vancouver is close to Abbotsford; it makes sense for the Canucks to have their farm team a 40-minute drive away.

Close to Home

Like I said before, Vancouver doesn’t have the luxury of making a quick call up like the Leafs or Canadians do. If the Canucks AHL affiliate was in Abbotsford, the recall of players is much speedier for home games and even road games in Western Canada and down the West Coast United States.

Not to mention, having a farm team that is actually close to home would generate a larger turn out for the 38 home games each year.

The seats wouldn’t be empty if Vancouverites would be able to go watch the future of the Canucks at least 38 times a season…

Attendance Issues

The Heats’ attendance has dropped 8.9% in the last three seasons. Having a local farm team would likely address and fix this issue. Imagine being able to go watch the future of the Canucks at least 38 times a season?

Suddenly that drive from Vancouver, Port Moody or Surrey to Abbotsford isn’t that terrible.

What about those families who can’t afford to take the kids to a Canucks game? Having the farm team in driving distance is an appealing alternative for a night of hockey.

Getting to know your Prospects

I’ll admit that I’m not the most knowledgeable person when it comes to the Vancouver Canucks prospects. Sure there’s five or so that I know a bit about, enough to write about at least, but being able to watch those players grow into NHL caliber talent is very appealing.

Just because these players never ended up playing for the Canucks, how great has it been to watch former Vancouver Giants players like Evander Kane, Milan Lucic and Gilbert Brule turn pro?

Now imagine having a minor league team where most, if not all the players are property of the Canucks.

Getting to watch players turn pro is one thing, but watching them turn pro and play for the Canucks is something else entirely.

I would love to see the Abbotsford Heat turn into the affiliate for the Canucks.

However, I don’t think it would be as simple as Aquilini buying the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre.

A deal would have to be reached to purchase the Heat from the Calgary Flames and in turn the Flames would then be in search of an AHL club of their own.

While it’s easy to speculate that the Flames would just sign an affiliation agreement with the Wolves and transfer their players and prospects over to Chicago, the luxury for the Flames of having their AHL team as close as a 45 minute flight from Calgary may be to much to let go of.

CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE CANUCKS CLUBHOUSE TODAY AT NWSPORTSBEAT!

© Mitch Dyck for North West Sports Beat, 2012. | Permalink | No comment |

Follow NWSB on Twitter or join US on Facebook for real-time updates OR... | Share This on Twitter | Share NWSportsBeat.com on Facebook

Post tags: Abbotsford, Abbotsford Heat, AHL, Aquilini Investment Group, Calgary Flames, Canucks Blog, Chicago, Evander Kane, Gilbert Brule, Heat, milan lucic, Montreal Canadiens, NHL, Toronto Maple Leafs, vancouver, Vancouver Canucks, Vancouver Canucks Blog, Vancouver Canucks hockey, Vancouver Canucks Rumors, winnipeg jets, Wolves

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Pacquiao to have surgery to repair 'significant' shoulder tear

Chris Paul ruled out for Game 1 against Rockets

Stephen Curry thanks father in touching MVP speech

Lawrence Taylor's son pleads guilty to statutory rape

49ers FB Bruce Miller charged with vandalism

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Winston snubbed ESPN out of draft interview

Report: Some Colts players unhappy with first-round pick

Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff: Focus is on Julio Jones contract

Irvin on Seahawks not picking up option: ‘F— that option’

Brandon Prust rips referee, accuses him of on-ice trash talk

LeBron James ditched headband to look more like teammates

Five overhyped NFL Draft storylines that didn't play out

WATCH: Chris Johnson wants to play for the Cowboys

WATCH: Chewbacca throws out 1st pitch at Red Sox game

WATCH: Kyrie Irving carves up Bulls' defense for layup

WATCH: Metallica goes Jimi Hendrix for national anthem

Brandon McCarthy shares disturbing info about himself

Ole Miss fan got pregnant because of upset over Alabama

Willie Cauley-Stein legally changes middle name to 'Trill'

Marcus Mariota welcomed to Tennessee with billboard

Five takeaways from the first round of the NBA playoffs

NFL has a Los Angeles Rams webpage

10 undrafted free agents who could become NFL stars

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Cauley-Stein changes middle name to 'Trill'

NFL has Los Angeles Rams webpage

10 undrafted free agents to watch

Report: Winston snubbed ESPN

Life without Love: The new-look Cavs

Drafted player changes Twitter name to ‘Pick 245′

Floyd Mayweather Punch Out mock video game is great

Report: Steph Curry to be NBA MVP

Kelly: Tebow here to compete for job

Tony Allen booed for being rude?

Lindsey Vonn, Tiger Woods break up

Pacquiao fought with injured shoulder?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.