With the affiliation agreement still up in the air between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Syracuse Crunch, speculation is running high about which direction each team will go in.
Blue Jackets Assistant GM Chris MacFarland said Monday evening that an announcement would be made within a week to ten days. Sources in Syracuse are also giving the same timetable. The timing suggests that both teams are waiting until the Crunch are eliminated from the playoffs before any announcement is made to lessen any distraction to either team.
The Lake Erie Monsters (AHL in Cleveland, Ohio), affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche, have two years left on their affiliation agreement. If the Blue Jackets were to pursue an affiliation with Lake Erie, this would give them the benefit of having their prospects close to the big club.
A one year agreement between the clubs would make sense as Howard Dolgon, owner of the Syracuse Crunch, has had his eye on an affiliation in the near future with the NY Rangers, sources say. The Rangers AHL affiliation agreement with the Hartford Wolf Pack has one year remaining.