The American Hockey League (AHL) announced Monday, May 23 the approval of the transfer of ownership of the Portland Pirates to Springfield Hockey, LLC.
It was announced on April 19 that the Springfield Falcons were relocating, spurring investors to buy the Portland franchise, which was first reported on May 4, according to Masslive. The official sale of the Falcons to its Tuscon ownership group was approved on May 10.
Florida Panthers President of Hockey Operations Dale Tallon said on in his announcement on Monday that the club signed a multi-year affiliation agreement with Springfield Hockey, LLC to become the Springfield team’s NHL affiliate. The Panthers were Portland’s NHL affiliate before the relocation. Panthers co-assistant general manager Eric Joyce will take over as Springfield’s new general manager and will oversee the Panthers’ minor league hockey operations.
[quote_center Dale Tallon=””]
We are very pleased to announce this affiliation with Springfield…Springfield is a hockey town with a rich history and we’re looking forward to a great relationship with the city and ownership group.
[/quote_center]Springfield Hockey, LLC is a broad-based group of local investors committed to building an exciting and innovative brand of sports entertainment and maintaining professional hockey as a civic asset for the region, according to FOX Sports. The group was formed after the Springfield Falcons’ sale and relocation to Tucson, Arizona. The group was recently granted AHL approval to purchase the Portland Pirates of the AHL and relocate the team to Springfield.
The team will compete in the Atlantic Division of the AHL’s Eastern Conference and play its home games at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Mass. Further details about the franchise will be released in the next few weeks, including the team name and front office personnel.
“We are very pleased to announce this affiliation with Springfield,” Tallon said in a statement. “Springfield is a hockey town with a rich history and we’re looking forward to a great relationship with the city and ownership group.”
Both relocations will take effect for the start of the 2016-17 season.