Caps Considering Hershey as New Affiliate
The Colorado Avalanche haven’t chosen a new affiliate yet, but they have said goodbye to the Hershey Bears.
The Washington Capitals, currently affiliated with the Portland Pirates, are believed to be interested in having Hershey as an affiliate. The Caps were affiliated with Hershey from 1977-78 to 1983-84.
Distance was a major factor in Colorado’s decision. The Avs are said to be considering a team closer in locale as an affiliate, although this season few players were actually under Colorado contract, and Hershey was not happy with the arrangement either.
If the Capitals were to choose Hershey as their new AHL affiliate over Portland, the drive would be reduced from ten hours to two. Air travel was possible from Portland, but the Times notes weather is always a concern.
Many NHL teams have chosen AHL affiliates that are closer in location over the past decade, or even have the team move into the same NHL city. Some of the latest moves include the Edmonton Oilers’ affiliate moved from Toronto to Edmonton in time for the 2004-05 season and the Toronto Maple Leafs’ affiliate in St. John’s will move to Toronto next season.