One of the reasons given for the creation of the California +2 division in the AHL was to make it easier for the west coast NHL teams to recall players. While it is not yet the mid-way point on the season, we were wondering if the teams had been taking advantage of the affiliate proximity.
We went through all of the call ups & returns between the seven Pacific Division AHL teams and their NHL affiliates as of December 8th this season. We then went through the transactions between those same NHL teams and their AHL affiliates through December 8th of last season.
|NHL Team||2014 Transactions||2014 Call-Ups||2015 Transactions||2015 Call-Ups|
|San Jose Sharks||13||6||19||10|
It looks like only the Sharks and the Kings have been taking advantage of the realignment. Looking closer at the Kings, however, we noted that two of the three call-ups were while the Kings were on the road and not close to the Reign. Of course, they don’t have a history of a good deal of movement.
The Oilers, Ducks and Avalanche have reduced their movement considerably despite the Ducks faltering out of the gate. Given the opportunity to shift players around to get the team going, they chose to stay the course & let the ship right itself. We’re not sure what the Oilers are doing. No one is.
The Stars (the only team to not change their affiliate) have also cut back while the Flames have kept to the same pace as last season.
We’ll revisit this towards the end of the season and see if the teams have taken more advantage of the affiliation shift.