SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Springfield Falcons are losing their NHL parent club next season, which could leave Springfield without a team to root for.
Fans told 22News they would hate to lose their only hockey team and hope the Falcons remain in Springfield. Fans came out to root for the hometown Springfield Falcons in what could be one of their last games in Springfield.
Daniel Walsh, from Springfield said, “We’ve always been fans, so we’re hoping it’s just a rumor. It would be a shame to lose the team.”
The Falcons are Springfield’s AHL team but their future is uncertain. Next season, the Falcons are losing their NHL parent club, the Arizona Coyotes, which could leave Springfield without a hockey franchise.
Arizona will move their AHL affiliate to Tucson, Arizona.
Mark Drummond from Southwick told 22News, he just wants to get a parent club here and he hopes they don’t move to Arizona. “Well we’re in last place. They don’t have much money. We did really good with Columbus, when the Blue Jackets were here. We had some good teams. They haven’t been a great parent club.”
Ralph Slate told 22News, his fondest memory of the team. “Back in the 1994 playoffs, really great time when the Falcons almost won the Calder Cup. And when they won the Calder cup back in 1990 and 91 that was great.”
The Springfield Falcons have an affiliation agreement with the Coyotes that runs through next season. The Falcons also play the Portland Pirates Sunday at the MassMutual Center, which could be the team’s last game in Springfield.
There’s five potential scenarios for what could happen to the Springfield Falcons.
- Arizona honors its contract with Springfield and returns next season.
- Arizona moves its franchise to Tuscon by purchasing the Falcons, thus Springfield would not have a AHL team.
- Springfield secures another NHL affiliation allowing Arizona to move on.
- Arizona does not honor its contract and moves its affiliate to Tucson.
- The NHL awards Las Vegas an expansion franchise. That franchise would be playing at MGM’s new arena in Las Vegas. MGM using their Springfield connection would make Springfield its AHL affiliate. That could mean a year without a hockey team in Springfield, but a long-term agreement with a franchise.