Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

What's next for the Moose?

AHL club could go dark for a season

  • Print

THE AHL's Manitoba Moose will be changing cities but it's business as usual, Craig Heisinger, the team's GM, said today.

"Of course we've been talking to our players (about next season)," Heisinger said Tuesday, asked about what will become the new farm team of Winnipeg's 2011-12 NHL entry.

Though most of the young players who played for the AHL team here this past season were under contract to the NHL's Vancouver Canucks, the team included several free agent players like centre Marco Rosa, defenceman Travis Ramsey and forwards like Kevin Clark and Shawn Weller.

Those players can be re-signed by the Moose before July 1 free agency.

The team's new home is expected to be St. John's, N.L., but that arrangement is not yet complete.

True North Sports & Entertainment chairman Mark Chipman said it's unlikely his group will sell the Moose AHL franchise. Rather, it will retain ownership of the team in the AHL and control its hockey department and simply enter into a business arrangement with a group in another city to run the rest of the operation.

"St. John's is absolutely an option," Chipman said. "That's a fantastic hockey market."

There have been some wrinkles to completing the arrangement in St. John's and if that possible deal falls through, then it's most likely the AHL franchise would go dark for a year.

It's certain the new AHL Moose, or whatever they are called, will have a new coach.

Current Moose coach Claude Noel still has two years left on his contract with the Canucks.

The departure of the Manitoba Moose from the AHL leaves AHL president David Andrews with just another challenge as he tries to put his league and the 30 affiliations with NHL teams together for next season.

Atlanta's affiliation with Chicago will end, as will Vancouver's with Manitoba. Buffalo is also known to be trying to buy the Rochester Americans.

"We were aware probably a year ago and prepared contingency plans about what our league would look like if Winnipeg were no longer in it," Andrews told the Free Press on Tuesday. "Within a week to 10 days, we'll know if Manitoba's AHL franchise will either suspend for a year or have a new home.

"I'm optimistic it will all land in the right place."

Andrews said he was thrilled for Winnipeg fans and for True North chairman Mark Chipman.

"We're very proud of the fact they've been part of the league for 10 years," Andrews said. "They've done such great things in marketing, building the brand, developing players, being in the community. We've used them as a standard with a lot of our other clubs.

"Once the building went up (in Winnipeg), it was pretty clear their objective was to get to the NHL when the opportunity presented itself.

"But Mark has never ever treated the AHL as less important than getting to the NHL. He's been a great partner, a first-class owner. Class is probably not a good enough term.

I consider him to be a very good friend and I'm very happy he's still going to be an owner in the AHL."

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 1, 2011 C5

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Full analysis: Manitoba Moose are back in Winnipeg

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • PHIL.HOSSACK@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 090728 / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS White Pelicans belly up to the sushi bar Tuesday afternoon at Lockport. One of North America's largest birds is a common sight along the Red RIver and on Lake Winnipeg. Here the fight each other for fish near the base of Red RIver's control structure, giving human fisher's downstream a run for their money.
  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Local- Peregrine Falcon Recovery Project. Baby peregrine falcons. 21 days old. Three baby falcons. Born on ledge on roof of Radisson hotel on Portage Avenue. Project Coordinator Tracy Maconachie said that these are third generation falcons to call the hotel home. Maconachie banded the legs of the birds for future identification as seen on this adult bird swooping just metres above. June 16, 2004.

View More Gallery Photos


Will you miss the old Banana Boat building?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google