LOVELAND, CO – The worst-kept secret in minor league hockey, is one step closer to becoming a done deal.
Mike Chambers of the Denver Post reports the Colorado Avalanche will announce the move for the Colorado Eagles to join the American Hockey League as their 31st team next month, according to sources close to the situation.
News of the Eagles’ flirtation with the American Hockey League came to the surface in mid-June, shortly after the team’s first ever Kelly Cup Championship. Since then, rather than keep much of the core that helped them win a championship, they have dispersed and the Eagles appear to be going with a much younger core in preparation for a move to hockey’s AAA-league.
In an interview with The Sin Bin this week, ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna had no comment on the impending move.
“We have nothing to report or comment on at this time,” McKenna said. “We have read those same reports over the last weeks and months but certainly, nothing has been to our board (ECHL’s Board of Governors) in terms of any approvals that would see that happening.”
“I believe that (Colorado moving) would entail NHL, AHL & ECHL all working in terms of approvals.”
It is worth noting that the ECHL’s Board of Governors will meet in September to discuss league business heading into the season, so while nothing has been presented currently, it is likely something will be brought up at those meetings.
The Eagles currently are the affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche (NHL) and San Antonio Rampage (AHL). The Rampage are in the final year of their AHL deal with the Avalanche and will become the AHL affiliate of the St. Louis Blues in 2018-19.
Lots of details, including possible renovations to the Budweiser Events Center and more, still need to be worked out.
Stay with The Sin Bin as we continue to follow this story.