City of Abbotsford

City of Abbotsford

April 28, 2009 13:25 ET

American Hockey League Governors Approve Abbotsford Franchise

ABBOTSFORD, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - April 28, 2009) - A new era of hockey dawns in the Fraser Valley - the Calgary Flames American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate is officially coming to Abbotsford for the start of the 2009 - 2010 season, announced Mayor George W. Peary today.

"We are excited to have the AHL coming to Abbotsford," said Peary. "The Calgary Flames AHL affiliate team will bring a new brand of hockey to the knowledgeable fans in our City, in the Fraser Valley and across the Lower Mainland."

The Calgary Flames will send their top young talent to the Fraser Valley to play and continue training with their AHL team. The AHL is the best development league in the world, grooming players for the National Hockey League. Eighty-four percent of the 2008-09 NHL players were graduates of the AHL.

"The Fraser Valley is hockey country and we are overdue to have this caliber of hockey in our region," said Peary. "Our new Entertainment and Sports Centre is a state of the art facility and will be one of the premier buildings in the league - this will be an exciting and an affordable way for all fans to see great hockey with regular tickets priced between $12 to $36."

Fans can still help to name the team by visiting www.fraservalleyahl.com and entering the "Name the Team" contest on the website.

"Abbotsford is grateful to the Calgary Flames and Mr. Sweeting's group for the tremendous effort to bring the American Hockey League to our building," said Mayor Peary. "These are first class people and we are proud to be associated with them. We look forward to a wonderful future working with these organizations."

Founded in 1936, the AHL is in its 73rd season. Last year more than six million fans attended AHL games across North America. NHL stars Miikka Kirpusoff (Calgary Flames), Jason Spezza (Ottawa Senators), Martin Brodeur (New Jersey Devils), and Daniel Briere (Buffalo Sabres) are among hundreds of current NHL players who honed their skills in the AHL.

The Calgary Flames have been a member of the National Hockey League since 1980 and will celebrate their 30th season with the 2009-10 season.

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