The Abbotsford Heat’s next destination is Glens Falls, N.Y.
The American Hockey League board of governors approved the franchise’s relocation from Abbotsford to upstate New York on Monday afternoon.
The Heat’s five-year tenure in town came to an end last Friday night, when they lost 5-3 to the Grand Rapids Griffins and were eliminated from the Calder Cup playoffs.
On April 15, the City of Abbotsford had announced it would pay the Calgary Flames $5.5 million to buy out the last five years of a 10-year supply fee agreement to play out of the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre. The contract guaranteed the hockey team a break-even annual budget of $5.7 million, and local taxpayers covered an estimated $7.2 million in shortfalls between 2009 and 2014.
The Glens Falls Civic Center had hosted the Adirondack Phantoms, the Philadelphia Flyers’ AHL affiliate, for the past five years. But it was always known to be a temporary arrangement as ownership awaited the construction of a new rink in Allentown, Pa. which will be ready this fall.
“Glens Falls has had a terrific history with the American Hockey League and will be an ideal location and environment for the development of our prospects,” Flames general manager Brad Treliving said in a press release. “When we announced on April 15 our discontinuation of operations in the City of Abbotsford, we had a few options available to us and there was much speculation about Glens Falls. There has been a high level of interest demonstrated to ensure the AHL remains in that market. We look forward to finalizing details and beginning this new partnership.”