The Vancouver Canucks farm team will not be coming to the Abbotsford Centre, after the club announced on Friday it will be extending its partnership with Utica. (Tyler Olsen/Abbotsford News)

Vancouver Canucks extend affiliate deal with Utica Comets

Possibility of team arriving in Abbotsford shot down by new partnership

Any notions of the Vancouver Canucks farm team landing in Abbotsford ended on Saturday, as the club announced the extension of its partnership with the Utica Comets.

The Comets have been the Canucks top affiliate since 2013-14, and this deal could last as long as six years.

Back in October, Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini spoke on Sportsnet 650 about the team potentially coming to Abbotsford, which re-ignited discussion about the possibility of a move.

The chatter also became a minor election issue, with mayoral hopeful Eric Nyvall criticizing incumbent Henry Braun for not doing enough to bring the team here.

Nyvall proposed that the city of Abbotsford re-engage negotiations with the Canucks, and if the city can get a memorandum of understanding, start a season ticket drive to prove the demand in the market.

Back in May, Braun stated during a question and answer period at his Mayor’s Breakfast event that he has tried to bring a professional hockey team to the Abbotsford Centre, but didn’t want to cost local taxpayers any money in the process.

During the event, he noted that while some suggested moving the Comets to California, others asked “Why not Abbotsford?”

“I agree with sentiment,” he said. “I don’t know why [not].”

Canucks general manager Jim Benning said the partnership with Utica has worked well for his team.

“We are very pleased to continue our partnership with Utica,” he stated in a press 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.”

Comets president Rob Esche agreed.

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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

City of Port Alberni to review 2020 budget in response to COVID-19

Deadline for final budget adoption is May 15

Alberni school district takes a week off to plan for online education

All buildings and playgrounds in School District 70 closed to the public

Vancouver Island farmers demand on-site slaughter

COVID-19 pandemic puts supply chains at risk, says group

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

COVID 19: Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, other First Nations mobilize resources

Some Indigenous communities are enacting emergency measures to cope during pandemic

‘The Office’ star John Krasinski offers Some Good News in trying times

‘The human spirit still found a way to break through and blow us all away’

An ongoing updated list of Alberni Valley events affected by COVID-19

Has your event been cancelled or postponed? Check here

Sweet treat helps make workers at Island health care centre feel complete

Girl Guide cookies always in good taste when showing appreciation

New rules issued for B.C. construction projects, work camps for COVID-19

Coastal GasLink, LNG Canada, Trans Mountain and Site C carry on

Order of Canada Vancouver Island musician pens ‘The Ballad of Bonnie Henry’

Qualicum Beach lawyer and saxaphonist Phil Dwyer notes health officer has become a ‘folk hero’

Canada to spend $2B more on procuring medical supplies for COVID-19 fight

Government has signed deals with three companies

World COVID-19 updates: Putin may be exposed; 30,000 prisoners released

Comprehensive news update from around the world as of Tuesday, March 31.

Most Read