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

Two men killed in Hwy 3 collision west of Castlegar

The single-vehicle incident happened Thursday morning

Central Mountain Air to offer flights out of Castlegar

The company will be offering Castlegar to Vancouver flights October 1.

Health ministry to hire 33 new practitioners for Kootenay Boundary

Over 15,000 people in the region don’t have access to a primary care provider

Trail RCMP set up critical new service to help keep loved ones, safe

Registration is voluntary and can be withdrawn at any time

Update: School District 20 office reports COVID cases

Two cases of COVID were reported at the School District 20 office in Trail

Record-breaking 165 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in B.C. in 24-hour period

Fifty-seven people are in hospital battling the novel coronavirus

Interior Health reports four new cases of COVID-19

First hospitalization since mid-August announced

March to protect old growth, stop industrial logging coming to B.C. Legislature

Organizers say they want to give frontline communities a bigger say in nearby logging

B.C. releases details of $1.5B economic recovery plan, $660M in business tax incentives

Economic plan includes support for employers, as well as training for workers

‘Not criminally responsible’ hearing slated for man convicted of Abbotsford school stabbing

Gabriel Klein was found guilty in March of killing Letisha Reimer, 13, in 2016

Conservation groups blast province for logging in caribou habitat near Revelstoke

In the last year, 104 cuts have been approved near Revelstoke in caribou habitat

B.C.’s 1st mental health and addictions minister won’t be seeking re-election

MLA Judy Darcy is the fifth cabinet minister not intending to run in the next election

Most Read