The Calgary Flames look like the first to benefit from "going west" by their young men, as the Quad City (Iowa) Flames are reportedly moving to Abbotsford, British Columbia. They would take over from Winnipeg and San Antonio as the westernmost AHL team. And in a follow-up story, Calgary denies they are moving their affiliate. But denials nearly always happen when the season is going on. Hard to tell anything from this. What we do know for sure is how bad attendance has been in Quad City.
The [Quad City] Flames rank 28th in the 29-team AHL, with an average attendance of 2,718 fans per game through 14 of this season’s 40 home games.
That’s a decline of almost 22 percent from an opening year that saw the Flames finish 27th in AHL attendance with an average of 3,523 fans per night.
An important line in the story is that Abbotsford talked to four AHL teams on the brink. There could be three or more teams on the move this offseason. It was already reported that the Edmonton Oilers are looking at places like Oklahoma City for their franchise. There's always a few affiliation changes, but relocations could be more numerous.