Portland Pirates to name new NHL affiliation on May 23
The Portland Pirates will hold a press conference on Monday, May 23 to announce their new NHL affiliation. For the past 12 years they've been the AHL affiliate for the Washington Capitals but have been without a parent club since the Caps moved their players to the Hershey Bears. It has been a very poorly kept secret that the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim would be the new parent club.
On Friday the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks were eliminated from the Calder Cup playoffs. Yesterday, it was officially announced that the Mighty Ducks would no longer use Cincy as their AHL affiliate, but would not say where they were moving. At the same time, Portland had mentioned that they had an agreement with an NHL team but that they were waiting for the team to be eliminated from the playoffs before making an announcement. As I mentioned on this page a few days ago, both sides are waiting to make the agreement official in respect to Cincinnati which will now most likely be without AHL hockey after eight years, and without hockey altogether after having two teams as recently as two years ago.
The Pirates have announced that their deal with the NHL team runs through 2010, which is also when their lease with the Cumberland County Civic Center runs out. Reportedly, the deal also includes significant upgrades the the Civic Center including remodeled locker rooms and a new scoreboard.
As soon as anything more is known, we will bring it to you here on the Unofficial Mighty Ducks of Anaheim blog.