The American Hockey League is headed west.
At a news conference Thursday in San Jose, Calif., league officials announced that five NHL franchises — the Anaheim Ducks, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, and San Jose Sharks — will move their top minor-league teams to California.
Edmonton will shift the Oklahoma City Barons to Bakersfield, where the AHL club will keep the ECHL team’s name, the Condors. The Los Angeles Kings will swap their AHL affiliate — the Manchester (N.H.) Monarchs — with their ECHL one, and the AHL club will be known as the Ontario Reign.
Calgary will relocate the Adirondack Flames from Glens Falls, N.Y., to Stockton, where they reportedly will become the Stockton Grizzlies.
Anaheim will move its team from Norfolk, Va., to San Diego, and San Jose will shift its AHL club from Worcester, Mass., to San Jose, where it will play in the same building as the Sharks. The names of the San Diego and San Jose teams will be announced in the future.
The franchise shifts will be competed in time for the 2015-16 season.
“Relocating five teams is a complex process, and we are very excited to have brought this initiative to a successful outcome,” AHL president and CEO Dave Andrews said during the news conference. “The Western-based NHL clubs have been in dialogue with our league for almost three years, and today’s announcement launches a new era for the American Hockey League and for professional hockey in California.”