Blues to Sell Peoria to Vancouver
The Peoria Rivermen, a longtime staple in minor league hockey, appear to be closing in on their final days as an American Hockey League affiliate of the St. Louis Blues.
Multiple sources confirm St. Louis has agreed to sell the franchise to the Vancouver Canucks and will cut ties at the conclusion of this season.
Sources say it no longer makes financial sense for the Blues to continue owning the Rivermen.
The Canucks have been rumored to be looking to purchase an AHL affiliate with the idea of moving the team closer to Vancouver. They've been affiliated with the Chicago Wolves for the last two seasons.
There was talk of Vancouver and Calgary having discussions regarding the potential sale of the Abbotsford Heat, the AHL affiliate of the Flames. Sources say those talks ended several days ago.
The sale of the Rivermen opens the door for the Blues to partner with the Wolves, one of the more successful AHL franchises the last several years. Chicago is second in the league in attendance this season averaging more than 8,000 fans per game. Peoria averages just over 5,000 fans per game.
Chicago and Vancouver had an agreement that was set to expire at the end of the 2012-2013 season. The Wolves were once the AHL affiliate of the Atlanta Thrashers from 2001-2011.
Obviously any player currently playing in Peoria and under contact with the Blues will remain their property.
Peoria has been an AHL affiliate of the Blues since 2005.
Any official comment from St. Louis or Vancouver may not come until after the transaction has been legally finalized.
More to come,
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