The Abbotsford Canucks are a Canadian professional ice hockey team based in Abbotsford, British Columbia, and members of the American Hockey League (AHL). The team began play in the 2021–22 season with home games at Abbotsford Centre as the AHL affiliate of the National Hockey League's Vancouver Canucks. The team is a relocation of the franchise owned by the Canucks and known as the Utica Comets from 2013 to 2021. This is the second AHL team to play in Abbotsford after the Calgary Flames affiliate Abbotsford Heat from 2009 until 2014.

Abbotsford Canucks
CityAbbotsford, British Columbia, Canada
LeagueAmerican Hockey League
Home arenaAbbotsford Centre
ColoursField green, Pacific blue, Fraser blue, valley fog grey, mountain white[1]
Owner(s)Canucks Sports & Entertainment
General managerRyan Johnson[2]
Head coachJeremy Colliton
CaptainChase Wouters
AffiliatesVancouver Canucks (NHL)
Kalamazoo Wings (ECHL)
Franchise history
1932–1935Quebec Beavers
1935–1951Springfield Indians
1951–1954Syracuse Warriors
1954–1967Springfield Indians
1967–1974Springfield Kings
1974–1994Springfield Indians
1994–2005Worcester IceCats
2005–2013Peoria Rivermen
2013–2021Utica Comets
2021–presentAbbotsford Canucks
Current season

History Edit

The Abbotsford Canucks franchise is one of the oldest professional hockey franchises in existence, dating back to 1932, when the team was known as the Quebec Beavers. In 1935, the franchise moved to Springfield and became the Indians, reviving the name after the original Indians franchise ceased operations during the 1932–33 Canadian-American Hockey League season. In addition to the Indians, the team has been known as the Syracuse Warriors, Springfield Kings, Worcester IceCats, Peoria Rivermen, and Utica Comets.

On March 29, 2013, Canucks Sports & Entertainment (CS&E), owners of the National Hockey League's (NHL) Vancouver Canucks, was announced as purchasing the American Hockey League (AHL) franchise then playing as the Peoria Rivermen. The purchase was approved by the league on April 18.[3] After purchasing the franchise, CS&E intended to have the franchise located in a market close to Vancouver with their initial preference as Abbotsford, which at the time was home to the Calgary Flames AHL farm club, the Abbotsford Heat. The Heat had been rumored to relocate to Utica, New York, at the time.[4] Negotiations between the Canucks and Abbotsford broke down by April 22 and the Heat remained in the city.[5]

After exploring options for having the team in Vancouver,[6] Seattle,[7] and Peoria,[8] CS&E came to a six-year operating agreement with Robert Esche to place the franchise in Utica and the city's soon-to-be-renovated Memorial Auditorium as the Utica Comets.[9] The Comets began play in the 2013–14 AHL season. The Heat lasted only one more season in Abbotsford before relocating to Glens Falls, New York, as the Adirondack Flames in 2014. Before the 2019–20 season, CS&E and Esche's operating contract was extended for up to an additional six years, with potential opt outs every two seasons.[10][11]

In April 2021, a new trademark was filed for the brand "Utica Devils" by Robert Esche for a potential relocation of the Binghamton Devils.[12] On May 4, the Canucks announced that they planned to relocate the Comets' franchise to Abbotsford, pending final discussions with the city of Abbotsford and league approval, for the 2021–22 season.[13] On May 6, the league approved both the relocations of the Canucks owned Comets franchise to Abbotsford and the Devils franchise to Utica[14] with the Utica team remaining branded as the Comets.[15] The Canucks and the city of Abbotsford signed a five-year agreement on June 29 to host the team, with options for further renewal that could extend the deal for as long as twenty years.[16]

On July 14, the name, logo, and colours were released.[1] The Vancouver Canucks transferred both former Comets general manager Ryan Johnson[2] and head coach Trent Cull to Abbotsford.[17]

Season-by-season records Edit

Regular season Playoffs
Season GP W L OTL SOL Pts PCT GF GA Standing Year Prelims 1st round 2nd round 3rd round Finals
2021–22 68 39 23 5 1 84 .618 230 200 5th, Pacific 2022 L, 0–2, BAK
2022–23 72 40 25 3 4 87 .604 229 203 4th, Pacific 2023 W, 2–0, BAK L, 1–3, CGY

Players Edit

Current roster Edit

Updated August 14, 2023.[18]

Team roster
No. Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace Contract
9   Arshdeep Bains LW L 22 2022 Surrey, British Columbia Vancouver
  Derek Daschke D L 25 2023 Troy, Michigan Abbotsford
17   Marc Gatcomb RW R 24 2022 Woburn, Massachusetts Abbotsford
48   Filip Johansson D R 23 2023 Västerås, Sweden Vancouver
  Michael Joyaux D R 26 2023 Bloomingdale, Illinois Abbotsford
47   Noah Juulsen (A) D R 26 2021 Abbotsford, British Columbia Vancouver
41   Alex Kannok Leipert D R 23 2021 Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand Abbotsford
94   Linus Karlsson C R 23 2022 Eksjö, Sweden Vancouver
46   Danila Klimovich C R 20 2021 Pinsk, Belarus Vancouver
  Jonathan Lemieux G L 22 2023 Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec Abbotsford
  Jermaine Loewen LW L 25 2023 Mandeville, Jamaica Abbotsford
30   Spencer Martin G L 28 2021 Oakville, Ontario Vancouver
84   Tristen Nielsen C L 23 2021 Fort St. John, British Columbia Vancouver
39   Chad Nychuk D L 22 2022 Rossburn, Manitoba Abbotsford
  Josh Passolt LW L 27 2023 Hayward, Wisconsin Abbotsford
3   Jack Rathbone D L 24 2021 Boston, Massachusetts Vancouver
20   Aatu Raty C L 20 2023 Oulunsalo, Finland Vancouver
27   Max Sasson C L 23 2023 Birmingham, Michigan Vancouver
28   Quinn Schmiemann D L 22 2022 Wilcox, Saskatchewan Abbotsford
31   Arturs Silovs G L 22 2021 Riga, Latvia Vancouver
14   John Stevens (A) C L 29 2021 Sea Isle City, New Jersey Abbotsford
  Cooper Walker C R 21 2023 Cambridge, Ontario Abbotsford
86   Christian Wolanin D L 28 2022 Québec City, Québec Vancouver
4   Jett Woo D R 23 2021 Winnipeg, Manitoba Vancouver
21   Chase Wouters (C) C R 23 2021 North Battleford, Saskatchewan Abbotsford
  Dmitri Zlodeyev C L 21 2023 Voronezh, Russia Abbotsford

Team captains Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ a b "AHL's Newest Franchise Named Abbotsford Canucks". Vancouver Canucks. July 14, 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Ryan Johnson Confirmed as G.M. of Abbotsford Franchise". Vancouver Canucks. June 25, 2021.
  3. ^ "Report: Vancouver Canucks Purchase Rivermen; Move to Abbotsford?". March 29, 2013. Archived from the original on October 2, 2013. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  4. ^ Kramer, Lindsay (February 26, 2013). "Possible AHL move to Utica stirs conflicting reports". The Post-Standard. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
  5. ^ McIntyre, Gordon (April 23, 2013). "Abbotsford Heat staying put for next season at least after Canucks talks break down". The Province. Archived from the original on May 17, 2013. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  6. ^ Dan Kinvig (April 13, 2013). "Heat's territorial rights limit Canucks' local AHL options - Abbotsford News". Abbotsford News. Archived from the original on May 1, 2013. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  7. ^ Mirtle, James (June 17, 2013). "Seattle on NHL's relocation radar yet again". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
  8. ^ Eminian, Dave (April 23, 2013). "Civic Center begins talks with NHL Vancouver over Rivermen". Peoria Journal-Star. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
  9. ^ Brough, Jason (June 6, 2013). "Report: Canucks moving AHL affiliate to Utica". NBC Sports. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  10. ^ "Canucks extend affiliate deal with the AHL's Utica Comets". The Province. December 29, 2018. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  11. ^ "Canucks extend AHL affiliate deal with Utica Comets". Vancouver Canucks. December 29, 2018. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  12. ^ "Potential move of AHL teams puts future of hockey in Binghamton in question". WBNG. April 16, 2021. Archived from the original on April 16, 2021. Retrieved May 11, 2021.
  13. ^ "Canucks to move American Hockey League affiliate to Abbotsford". The Province. May 4, 2021.
  14. ^ "Board of Governors Approves Franchise Relocations". AHL. May 6, 2021.
  16. ^ "Canucks and City of Abbotsford make AHL deal official". The Province. June 29, 2021.
  17. ^ "Coaching and Training Staff for Abbotsford Canucks Announced". Vancouver Canucks. July 16, 2021.
  18. ^ "Abbotsford Canucks Team roster". August 14, 2023. Retrieved August 14, 2023.

External links Edit