Just like the last couple seasons we will update you on arena and franchise changes so that you can optimize your travels and keep informed on new arena options. On this report we will cover the pro leagues in North America from the NHL right down to the Federal League. There are also a bunch of semi-pro leagues in the U.S. and Canada that can provide great fan experiences, but we will not cover them here. Outdoor games will be covered in a different report. As always, we hope you will find this information useful for planning your hockey road trips.
NHL - Even
With potential expansion on the horizon in Seattle, and the folks in Quebec City waiting patiently in the wings for a relocated franchise, for now the NHL will look exactly like last season from an arena and team standpoint, save a few venues being renamed. The number 31 seems awfully clunky so we assume team #32 will be on the horizon soon.
AHL - Plus Budweiser Events Center, Loveland, CO
To keep in tune with the NHL the AHL will have a 31st team, with the ECHL's Colorado Eagles making the jump to AAA, and becoming the Colorado Avalanche affiliate. This arena has historically drawn large crowds so it will be interesting to see how the jump to a different league will affect things. After several seasons with lots of franchise movement the league has stabilized a bit.
Bonus Plus - Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON
Still known as the Air Canada Centre to most folks, the home of the Leafs will see their farm team competing here one stop further down the Go Train line in downtown Toronto. Dates of the Marlies games here include December 26th (Boxing Day), February 18th, and March 11th.
Bonus Plus - KeyBank Center, Buffalo, NY
The home of the Sabres has been holding AHL games semi-regularly over the last several seasons, and will see the Rochester Americans play here on November 7th against Cleveland.
KeyBank Center in Buffalo will see the Rochester Americans take to the ice on November 7th. RoamingTheRinks.com photo
LNAH - Plus Notre Dame Arena, Berlin, NH
In Quebec, the LNAH has been shrinking in size season by season. Early in the summer it looked as though they may not have 6 teams to field a league, but Berlin, the remote New Hampshire town which is a former Federal League market, comes on board this season. This small arena should make an interesting stop for Americans who want to check out the LNAH but not deal with the language barrier of traveling to Quebec, although it may be too small to make enough revenue to keep the team going.
Minus - Colisee Trois-Riveres, Trois-Rivieres, QC
The iconic Art Deco Colisee was part of the rough and tough Quebec pro hockey scene for decades, and was earlier home of the QMJHL's Draveurs. The era of pro hockey comes to an end here, although the venue will still be home of UQTR's University hockey team.
Colisee Trois-Rivieres will no longer host LNAH hockey as the Draveurs had their franchise revoked at the end of last season RoamingTheRinks.com photo
That wraps things up for this report. Next time we will cover college and university hockey in the U.S. and Canada. As always, we hope you will find this information useful when planning your trips this upcoming season. Hockey season is here so we hope you can get to an arena soon!