SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – American Hockey League President and Chief Executive Officer David Andrews announced today that the AHL Board of Governors has awarded an expansion franchise to NHL Seattle and Oak View Group.

The AHL’s 32nd team will be located in Palm Springs, Calif., and will begin play as the primary development affiliate of the NHL’s expansion Seattle franchise in the fall of 2021.

“On behalf of the AHL’s Board of Governors, I am thrilled to welcome the NHL Seattle and OVG ownership teams and the city of Palm Springs as the league’s 32nd franchise,” said Andrews. “Palm Springs has all the makings of an outstanding hockey market, and will further strengthen the growing base of our sport in California.”

In late June, the Oak View Group (OVG) announced its official application for an expansion franchise in Palm Springs, passing on Boise, Idaho as a rumored destination for the AHL’s 32nd franchise. OVG’s deal with the local Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians includes plans for a 10,000-seat, 300,000-square-foot arena right in the heart of downtown Palm Springs. Today’s announcement is a simple formality from the league itself, the proverbial icing on the cake for the new NHL Seattle franchise (also debuting in 2021-22) and its California-based affiliate.

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