The Big AHL Affiliate Swap

It's been a busy week for affiliate relations between the NHL and AHL. Three teams from each league were involved in the big swap. Here's how it all breaks down.

The Edmonton Oilers started it all on February 9 by announcing plans to resurrect their dormant AHL franchise in Oklahoma City, ending their partnership with the Springfield Falcons.

The Oklahoma City team will be a relaunch of a franchise that has existed since 1984, most recently as the Edmonton Road Runners for the 2004-05 season, during the NHL lockout. The club gets back in action in 2010-11 but has yet to be named.

Some have predicted that it will be called the Blazers after the Central Hockey League team which was originally founded in 1965. The latest incarnation of the club, assembled in 1992, folded in 2009. The head of that ownership group is now involved with the AHL franchise.

Count on Icethetics for details on the new name and logo when it is officially announced.

Falcons announce new NHL partnerAbandoned by the Oilers, the Springfield Falcons announced a new affiliation agreement with the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday.

During the press conference, the Falcons said they would be changing their colors to match their new parent club. The recolored Falcons logo was unveiled along with renderings of the new uniforms.

The Falcons are still affiliated with the Oilers through the end of the season, so the new colors and uniforms will not be adopted until next season.

The Blue Jackets' new deal suddenly left another AHL team without an affiliate.

Crunch joins forces with DucksThe Syracuse Crunch wasted no time, announcing the same day that the Anaheim Ducks would be their new NHL partner.

And just like the Falcons, the Crunch announced they would also be changing their colors to match the Ducks. The red and blue will give way to orange and gold. A recolored logo and uniform set has yet to be officially released.

The Ducks have spent this season without an affiliate, partnered previously with the Iowa Chops, who were suspended by the AHL on July 7, 2009. Recently, the Ducks expressed interest in placing an AHL franchise in San Diego. Costs led them to back down. Instead, they opted for an existing team on the opposite coast, a geographical head-scratcher.

As of now, each of the 30 AHL franchises set to play in 2010-11 are affiliated with their own NHL teams. Most wear their parent club's colors and/or logo on one or both shoulders of their uniforms.