Friday, June 10, 2011

Relocation of Manitoba Moose

With the NHL returning to Winnipeg it really didn't make sense, nor was it probably feasible, to have both an AHL and NHL team playing in the same building. 

So the Moose set out for a new home.  And they found one...

And it is even further from Hershey than Winnipeg!

St. John's, Newfoundland will be re-joining the AHL this season.  They last had a team in 2005 as the St. John's Maple Leafs.  They will begin play this season and will be affiliated with the new Winnipeg franchise. 

Last season the Manitoba Moose were affiliated with Vancouver while Chicago was affiliated with the Atlanta Thrashers (who are now the Winnipeg team). 

Based on calculations from this website it is 1302 air miles from Harrisburg, PA to St. John's.  That is 115 miles further than a trip from Harrisburg to Winnipeg.

The real adjustment to this is going to be the realignment that results from it.  You can't have a team located in the distant East playing in the Western Conference.  So someone is going to be relocated. 

My best guess would be Syracuse returning to the Western Conference where they played as recently as 2008-09. 

However, Charlotte is technically the Westernmost team in the Eastern Conference.  But they are also the furthest South and many of the Western Conference teams are in the Northern tier. 

More than likely (barring any other relocations) Bridgeport would move back to the East Division, St. John's would move to the Atlantic, and Syracuse would head to the North Division.

Time will tell.

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