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NHL logos

It is that time of year again when NHL teams begin to announce their new minor league affiliations for the coming season. There will be a number of NHL teams shifting their minor league affiliates and even moving their teams for the 2016-17 season. In April the Arizona Coyotes purchased the AHL Springfield Falcons franchise and they plan to move the team to Tucson for next season. Currently NHL teams (or their ownership groups) own 17 AHL teams and 4 ECHL teams, and they are indicated on the chart below. As new minor league affiliations are announced in the coming months this list will be updated. 2016-17 season updates are listed if they have been announced, otherwise the 2015-16 season teams are listed for now.

NHL = National Hockey League, 30 teams — number set at 30 until the expansion is official. — Website.

AHL = American Hockey League, 30 teams — number set at 30 until the NHL expansion is official. — Website. Team Map & Directory.

ECHL = (formerly the East Coast Hockey League) as of May 6, 2016 the league is at 29 teams however the Owensboro IceMen (formerly Evansville) has suspended operations for one season to return in 2017-18 and the new Worcester Railers team will begin playing in 2017-18. There is room to expand the league to 30 teams and that does seem to be the plan. There has been discussion of an additional team joining the Western Conference’s Central Division, however for now there is nothing official that possibility has disappeared. Investors in Portland are discussing moving a currently operating ECHL team to Maine now that their AHL team Portland Pirates has moved to Springfield.

Three ECHL clubs were Independent in 2015-16: Alaska Aces, Colorado Eagles and the Wichita Thunder. — Website. Team Directory.

Forget about the old ECHL name containing the term “Eastern” and just embrace the name as ECHL. The League officially changed their name from the East Coast Hockey League to ECHL on May 19, 2003. You will thank me for this! And here is the league map.

For 2015-16 affiliations see 2015-16 NHL team affiliations with AHL and ECHL teams.

If you are aware of any updates to this list, please let me know.

Updated November 30, 2016

NHL TEAMS NHL affiliations with Minor Leagues (ownership indicated if NHL team owned)
Anaheim Ducks
  AHL: San Diego Gulls (NHL owned)
  ECHL: Utah Grizzlies (Affiliation) – Signed a multi-year extension on Feb. 20, 2016 for 2016-17+)
Arizona Coyotes  Purchased AHL Franchise
  AHL: Tucson Roadrunners (NHL owned) – Coyotes purchased the former Springfield Falcons franchise, relocated it to Tucson and renamed the team. It will begin play in 2016-17 season.
  ECHL: Rapid City Rush (Affiliation) [Coyotes announce affiliation extension for 2016-17]
Boston Bruins
  AHL: Providence Bruins (Affiliation)
  ECHL: Atlanta Gladiators (Affiliation; 2-year contract for 2015-16 & 2016-17)
Buffalo Sabres
  AHL: Rochester Americans (NHL owned)
  ECHL: Elmira Jackals (Affiliation, 2016-17) [Their affiliation sounds like a multi-year deal but there are no specifics.]
Calgary Flames
  AHL: Stockton Heat (NHL owned)
  ECHL: Adirondack Thunder (NHL owned)
Carolina Hurricanes
  AHL: Charlotte Checkers (NHL Influenced Affiliation; Checkers owner Michael Kahn is one of the minority owners of the Hurricanes)
  ECHL: Florida Everblades (NHL owned – Owner Peter Karmanos Jr. is majority owner of both Hurricanes and Everblades)
Chicago Blackhawks
  AHL: Rockford IceHogs (Affiliation) [Chicago and Rockford renew their affiliation for 5 more seasons through 2021-22]
  ECHL: Indy Fuel (Affiliation through 2018-19); 5-year affiliation agreement signed April 2, 2014 through 2018-19.
Colorado Avalanche
  AHL: San Antonio Rampage (Affiliation through 2019-20; from 2015-16 season with a 5-year agreement)
  ECHL: Colorado Eagles (Affiliation through 2019-20) – [Colorado Avalanche announced a new 4-year affiliation with the Colorado Eagles (July 20, 2016) and ended their affiliation with the Fort Wayne Komets with 1-year remaining]).
Columbus Blue Jackets
  AHL: Cleveland Monsters (Affiliation) [Team owner Dan Gilbert has renamed the Lake Erie Monsters as the Cleveland Monsters, to more closely connect to his NBA Cleveland Cavaliers, August 9, 2016]
  ECHL: Kalamazoo Wings (Affiliation, 2015-16)
Dallas Stars
  AHL: Texas Stars (NHL owned)
  ECHL: Idaho Steelheads (Affiliation) [Dallas renews affiliation with Idaho through end of 2017-18 season]
Detroit Red Wings
  AHL: Grand Rapids Griffins (Affiliation)
  ECHL: Toledo Walleye (Affiliation) [Red Wings renew their affiliation with Toledo through 2017-18, Aug. 30, 2016.]
Edmonton Oilers
  AHL: Bakersfield Condors (NHL owned)
  ECHL: Norfolk Admirals (Affiliate) [New owners: Media Mango Group. The Edmonton Oilers (Oilers Entertainment Group) sold their ECHL franchise to Mango Media Group, Sept. 29, 2016]
Florida Panthers
  AHL: Springfield Thunderbirds (Affiliation) [New team name and logo revealed June 15, 2016; the Portland Pirates franchise was sold and moved to Springfield, MA for 2016-17 season; May 23, 2016: Florida announced multi-year affiliation with the team beginning in 2016-17]
Los Angeles Kings
  AHL: Ontario Reign (NHL owned – AEG)
  ECHL: Manchester Monarchs (Affiliation) [Aug. 4, 2016: ECHL’s Board approved the Transfer of Controlling Interest of the Manchester Monarchs from Anschutz Manchester Hockey LLC to PPI Sports LLC, a group led by New England businessmen Marc Casper and Brian Cheek. Cheek will serve as the team’s CEO.]
Minnesota Wild
  AHL: Iowa Wild (NHL owned)
  ECHL: Quad City Mallards (Affiliation, 2016-17)
Montréal Canadiens
  AHL: St. John’s IceCaps (NHL ownership) [Team will remain in St. John’s through 2016-17 at which time the Canadiens will move their AHL club to Laval in 2017-18]
  ECHL: Brampton Beast (Affiliation) [Montréal has renewed their affiliation with Brampton for another season through 2016-17. June 8, 2016]
Nashville Predators
  AHL: Milwaukee Admirals (Affiliation)
  ECHL: Cincinnati Cyclones (Affiliation, 2016-17)
New Jersey Devils
  AHL: Albany Devils (NHL owned)
  ECHL: –
New York Islanders
  AHL: Bridgeport Sound Tigers (NHL owned)
  ECHL: Missouri Mavericks (Affiliation; signed 2 year affiliation for 2015-16, 2016-17 on June 11, 2015)
New York Rangers
  AHL: Hartford Wolf Pack (NHL owned)
  ECHL: Greenville Road Warriors (Affiliation; extended  the affiliation with Greenville for 2016-17 & 2017-18. June 7, 2016.)
Ottawa Senators
  AHL: Binghamton Senators (NHL owned) [Senators purchase the Binghamton AHL franchise and will move it to Belleville, Ont. for 2017-18 season. (Sept. 26, 2016)]
  ECHL: Wichita Thunder (Affiliation) [Ottawa Senators announce new affiliation for 1-year 2016-17]
Philadelphia Flyers
  AHL: Lehigh Valley Phantoms (Affiliation)
  ECHL: Reading Royals (Affiliation) [Renewed a multi-year affiliation as of July 10, 2016]
Pittsburgh Penguins
  AHL: Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins (NHL owned)
  ECHL: Wheeling Nailers (Affiliation through 2017-18) [Renewed 2-year affiliation as of August 17, 2016]
San Jose Sharks
  AHL: San Jose Barracuda (NHL owned)
  ECHL: – Allen Americans (Affiliation, 2016-17)
St. Louis Blues
  AHL: Chicago Wolves (Affiliation) [St. Louis renewed their affiliation with the Wolves for 1 more season through 2016-17, June 2016. Nov. 30 – News that Blues will move their AHL affiliate to Kansas City at the end of the 2016-17 season.]
  ECHL: Missouri Mavericks (Working Affiliation) [St. Louis Blues announce working affiliation for 2016-17 with the Mavericks. Mavericks will maintain their official affiliation with the New York Islanders.]
Tampa Bay Lightning
  AHL: Syracuse Crunch (Affiliation)
  ECHL: Kalamazoo Wings (affiliation 2016-17) – Tampa Bay announces a 1-year affiliation with the K-Wings, May 25, 2016.
Toronto Maple Leafs
  AHL: Toronto Marlies (NHL owned)
  ECHL: Orlando Solar Bears (Affiliation; renewed through 2016-17, with option to renew another season)
Washington Capitals
  AHL: Hershey Bears (Affiliation; Washington renews their affiliation with Hershey for 4 more years, through 2019-20, October 6, 2016.)
  ECHL: South Carolina Stingrays (Affiliation; Renewed through 2017-18 on March 21, 2016.)
Winnipeg Jets
  AHL: Manitoba Moose (NHL owned)
  ECHL: Tulsa Oilers (Affiliation, 2016-17; Renewed affiliation for another year through 2016-17)
Vancouver Canucks
  AHL: Utica Comets (NHL owned)
  ECHL: Alaska Aces (Affiliation, 2016-17) [Vancouver Canucks announce affiliation for 2016-17]