Growing up around these two teams as a kid, it's both hilarious and tragic at the same time...
So, Arizona buys the Springfield AHL franchise and moves them to Tucson(lol), leaving Springfield, where the AHL has a long history and is headquartered, without a team.
But hold the phone!
In comes Portland, who decides to sell their franchise to a group of investors in Springfield! AHL hockey returns, without missing a season!
Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling learned of the plans when a reporter called him with questions late Wednesday afternoon. Strimling said the city had not been contacted by anyone from the Pirates organization about the pending move of the minor-league hockey team.
Strimling said taxpayers should be upset that they helped pay for a $34 million renovation of the arena in 2013, only to see its anchor tenant leave without warning a few years later.
“Tens of millions of dollars went into that facility,” he said. “When taxpayers put that much money into a project we should have at least been called to the table.”
Also, if you read that article, you'll see that the guy who pulled the rug out from underneath the Springfield fans, their former owner who sold Springfield to Arizona, Charlie Pompea, put in one of the competing bids to...buy the Portland team! And keep them in Portland, so his daughter could keep her job(that she had with Springfield)...But the winning bid included a group with Bruce Landon(the absolute face of hockey in Springfield)...who worked for Pompea! You. Can't. Make. This. Up.
Did I mention, Portland's NHL affiliate, Florida, was completely out of the loop on all of this?
"I was informed by Portland CEO Ron Cain today that he has signed a letter of intent to sell the Pirates pending league approval," Florida Panthers Executive Chairman Peter Luukko said. "We will be in contact with the American Hockey League regarding the sale process. In the meantime, Florida will begin exploring all our options to put our players in the very best developmental situation. We have enjoyed the city of Portland, the venue and the incredible fan support.”
Edited by TheShow, 06 May 2016 - 11:11 AM.