Calgary Flames head coach Bob Hartley is excited about the move of the Abbotsford Head to Glens Falls, NY. The home of the Flames’ AHL affiliate is now 2500 miles away from their parent club, yet the benefits are now being vocalized. Benefits that outweigh cost.
Travel expenses will skyrocket, and with that call-ups will be more scrutinized. Why recall a player for a short amount of time if you have to fly them from Glens Falls to Vancouver…then LA…later Arizona, for the kid to play one game before heading to Charlotte to rejoin the ADK Flames? With that in mind, Hartley is excited for the continuity his prospects will encounter in upstate New York.
Familiar with the region from his days with Cornwall and Hershey, Hartley believes that the proximity to the rest of the AHL will benefit the team. Practice schedules tightened, road trips shortened, overall fatigue reduced, these things will keep the AHL Flames in better shape physically and mentally. No more staggering trips across the Continental Divide just for two quick games. Back-to-backs with Hartford, Springfield, or Bridgeport? Better for team preparation and finally inclusive to the rest of the league.
Relocating to the Adirondacks was initially perceived as a bad move, but that was before Hartley’s comments. The extra money Calgary will spend on travel is an investment in their system rather than an unnecessary inflation of overhead. The Glens Falls area is predicted to throw its support behind their new franchise. Over the course of three decades, minor league hockey has found success in the city, and Calgary is betting on rekindling such glory.
Though it goes against the proposed western exodus model, this move east is beginning to look quite reasonable. Odd that other teams have not chosen to make this type of public statement.