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)

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

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools’ business committee is recommending busing for the Rutherford and Frank J. Ney elementary school area be retained. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo school trustees vote against cutting Rutherford-Frank J. Ney bus route

Staff report points to yearly transportation budget deficits

Nanaimo RCMP seek help in locating Shannon Lettington, 35. (Submitted photo)
Nanaimo RCMP searching for missing 35-year-old woman

Shannon Lettington, of Nanaimo, has not contacted her family since October

This month Christy Blom’s Springtime show is on display at Art 10 Gallery. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo painter welcomes spring with watercolour exhibition

Christy Blom presents month-long ‘Springtime’ show at Art 10 Gallery

Lucas Philp, senior fish culturist at Vancouver Island Trout Hatchery, packs up pipes and hoses used to transfer trout from the transport truck into lakes, shortly after releasing about 500 rainbow trout into Colliery Dam No. 3 lake Wednesday. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
There are fresh fish to catch in Nanaimo’s lakes

Vancouver Island Trout Hatchery released thousands of catchable-size rainbow trout this week

Protesters march on Nanaimo’s Commercial Street last September, calling for greater protection of B.C.’s old-growth forests. (News Bulletin file photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: More old growth needs protecting

Public support for protecting old-growth forests is evident, says letter writer

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Beef to the plow driver who completely soaked me in dirty slush at the bus stop at Fifth and Hillcrest. I could tell you were driving quite fast so I tried to back up as far as the snowbank would allow but you did not slow down. I am 68 and had to pick up a prescription and had no choice but to continue on soaking wet.
Beefs & Bouquets, March 3

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

The intersection of Melrose Street and Third Avenue. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Suspect in custody after two pedestrians struck in Port Alberni hit and run

RCMP asking for video footage, credit witnesses for quick arrest

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

Comox Valley RCMP had access to 20 Street blocked off between Cousins and Choquette avenues as they conducted a raid of a house on the block. Photo by Terry Farrell
Comox Valley RCMP raid Courtenay problem house, several arrests made

Comox Valley RCMP conducted a raid of a problem house on 20th… Continue reading

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

Most Read