Abbotsford Heat

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Abbotsford Heat
2013–14 Abbotsford Heat season
Abbotsford Heat.svg
CityAbbotsford, British Columbia
LeagueAmerican Hockey League
ConferenceWestern Conference
DivisionWest Division
Founded1977
Operated20092014
Home arenaAbbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre
ColorsWhite, red, black, silver
                   
AffiliatesCalgary Flames (NHL)
Alaska Aces (ECHL)
Franchise history
1977–1987Maine Mariners
1987–1993Utica Devils
1993–2003Saint John Flames
2005–2007Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights
2007–2009Quad City Flames
2009–2014Abbotsford Heat
2014–2015Adirondack Flames
2015–presentStockton Heat

The Abbotsford Heat were a professional ice hockey team that played five seasons in the American Hockey League (AHL) between 2009 and 2014. The team was based in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada, and played its home games at the 7,046-seat Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre. The franchise was the National Hockey League (NHL) affiliate of the Calgary Flames and arrived in Abbotsford in 2009 as a relocated franchise formerly known as the Quad City Flames. The team played five seasons in British Columbia before the Flames' lease agreement with the City of Abbotsford was terminated following the 2013–14 season.

On May 5, 2014, the AHL's Board of Governors approved the relocation of the franchise to Glens Falls, New York where the Adirondack Flames replaced the Adirondack Phantoms who had moved to Allentown, Pennsylvania.

History[edit]

The Flames moved their affiliate to the Fraser Valley after playing two seasons in Moline, Illinois as the Quad City Flames. The team's transfer was approved on April 28, 2009,[1] and as a result, Abbotsford became the westernmost city in the AHL. The team closest to the Heat in distance, the Oklahoma City Barons, was 1,583 mi (2,548 km) away, and the Heat was the only AHL team west of the Central Time Zone. To reduce travel costs, road teams sometimes played two consecutive games in Abbotsford, and in some cases, the Heat played consecutive road games at the same arena. The same scheduling was used for the St. John's IceCaps.

The organization held a "name the team" contest, and on May 14, 2009, Heat was announced as the team's new name.[2]

On June 5, 2009, the Calgary Herald reported that Jim Playfair would debut as head coach of the Abbotsford Heat after spending two seasons with the Calgary Flames.[3]

Relocation to Glens Falls[edit]

The team struggled financially and saw low attendance; talks eventually broke down between the city of Abbotsford, the Vancouver Canucks, and the Calgary Flames on a possible affiliation swap.

Upon the Vancouver Canucks' purchase of the Peoria Rivermen, the Heat's owners were petitioned from interested groups in Utica, New York. On June 14, 2013, the Vancouver Canucks and Mohawk Valley Garden, the managing partner based in Utica, signed a six-year affiliation agreement, and the Utica Comets became the new AHL affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks.

The city of Abbotsford terminated the contract with the Heat on April 15, 2014.[4] The Heat finished the season and Calder Cup playoffs in Abbotsford, and on May 5, 2014, the AHL's Board of Governors announced at its spring meeting in Chicago that it approved the relocation of the team to Glens Falls for the 2014–15 season, with games to be played at the Glens Falls Civic Center as the Adirondack Flames.[5][6]

Team information[edit]

Mascot[edit]

The Heat's mascot was Hawkey, an anthropomorphic red-tailed hawk, a species native to the Fraser Valley. Hawkey could be seen at home games wearing jersey No. 00.

Season-by-season results[edit]

Team captains[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Millican, Joe (2009-04-28). "Yes! Abbotsford gets AHL hockey". Abbotsford News. Archived from the original on 2 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-28.
  2. ^ "The HEAT is on for 2009–10 AHL season" (PDF). Fraser Valley Sports & Entertainment Ltd. 2009-05-14. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 11, 2011. Retrieved 2009-05-14.
  3. ^ "Playfair to get Heat post". Calgary Herald. 2009-06-05. Retrieved 2009-06-05.
  4. ^ "Abbotsford Heat leave city with $12M in losses - CBC News". cbc.ca.
  5. ^ "AHL approves relocation of Calgary Flames' franchise to Glens Falls". syracuse.com.
  6. ^ http://poststar.com/sports/mayor-three-year-deal-under-discussion/article_904d9100-d17f-11e3-9526-0019bb2963f4.hmtl[permanent dead link]