The San Antonio Rampage and Arizona Coyotes could be affiliated next season.
It had been long rumored, and confirmed today, that the Florida Panthers would be moving their AHL prospects from San Antonio to Portland, Maine, home of the Portland Pirates.
That leaves San Antonio shopping for another NHL partner next season.
The Rampage and Coyotes have “had conversations” about partnering next season, according to a source familiar with the situation.
The Rampage and Coyotes were affiliated from 2005 to 2011. During that time frame the Rampage only made the playoffs once, in 2008.
If a deal is made, it could be a short agreement. As first reported by Fox Sports Arizona, the Coyotes want their AHL affiliate in Arizona.
That would require the NHL team to purchase an AHL franchise for relocation. Spurs Sports and Entertainment doesn’t have any plans on selling the hockey franchise.
If Arizona can’t buy a franchise before next season, it could possibly sign a short-term deal with San Antonio as a hold-over until it finds an AHL owner willing to sell.
Arizona may not be the only NHL team interested in San Antonio. The Maine Hockey Journal has reported that the Coyotes-Rampage affiliation is “not a forgone conclusion that Arizona returns to the Rampage.”
The Colorado Avalanche, currently partnered with the Lake Erie Monsters, could also be interested in the Alamo City according to Fox Sports.