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

Cullen confirmed as B.C. NDP candidate for Stikine despite party’s equity policy

Former Tahltan Central Government President Annita McPhee said the process made her feel “abused”

Citing stability, B.C. Premier calls snap election for Oct. 24

John Horgan meets with Lieutenant Governor to request vote

BC Timber Sales’ operations on the North Island and Central Coast to be audited

The Forest Practices Board randomly chose the region to check for compliance to legislation

BC Ferries Sailing Cancellations

Prince Rupert - Haida Gwaii - Northern Adventure

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

Grand jury indicts police officer in Breonna Taylor death

Officer Brett Hankison was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Heiltsuk First Nation calling on DFO to close fish farms, citing wild salmon extinction risk

Wild salmon returns have broken low records, have many concerned about future of wild fish

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Attorney General of Canada defends Kelowna Mountie involved in rough arrest

Tyler Russell filed a lawsuit against Const. Siggy Pietrzak in June of this year

Refresh of Liberal government’s agenda comes amid new looming COVID-19 crisis

Lockdowns saw fed spending soar to historic levels in effort to offset pandemic’s blow to Canadians’ livelihoods

‘Unprecedented’ coalition demands end to B.C. salmon farms

First Nations, commercial fishermen among group calling for action on Cohen recommendations

Most Read