Vancouver Canucks extend relationship with AHL affiliate Utica Comets

The Vancouver Canucks will keep their relationship with the Utica Comets for the foreseeable future.

Canucks general manager Jim Benning announced Saturday that the team had extended its deal with the American Hockey League (AHL) club, which allows for an extension of up to six years.

The move puts to bed the idea that the Canucks might look to move an AHL team to the Fraser Valley, perhaps betting that a squad of local prospects might attract more fans than the failed Abbotsford Heat.

“We are very pleased to continue our partnership with Utica,” said Benning in a media release.

“The Comets share our organization’s level of commitment and philosophy in player development, providing a strong environment for growth. We believe the culture in Utica, combined with the great fan support and atmosphere at games, will continue to be beneficial for the players in our system.”

The Comets have also been a smash hit in their local market, setting an AHL record earlier this year for consecutive sell outs.

“We couldn’t be happier to extend and grow our well-established partnership with the Vancouver Canucks,” said Rob Esche, president of the Utica Comets.

“It has been an honour to play a small part in the future of the Canucks organization, and we look forward to continuing to establish a culture and atmosphere here in Utica that aligns with the goals and values in Vancouver.”

The Comets have been the Canucks AHL affiliate since the 2013-2014 season.

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