LAS VEGAS, NV – JUNE 22: New Las Vegas NHL franchise owner Bill Foley and commissioner Gary Bettman of the National Hockey League pose for a photo during the Board of Governors Press Conference prior to the 2016 NHL Awards at Encore Las Vegas on June 22, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The NHL’s board of governors approved expanding to Las Vegas, making the franchise the 31st team in the league. The team will start play during the 2017-18 season and play at the newly built T-Mobile Arena. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Las Vegas team expected to share AHL affiliate with another NHL team

[link_box id=”22277″ site_id=”17″ layout=”link-box-third” alignment=”alignright”]On Sunday, the Las Vegas NHL expansion team announced a date for their team name reveal and on Tuesday they revealed their plans for an AHL affiliate. The Vegas team won’t start the season with their own farm system, instead, owner Bill Foley told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the Vegas team will share an AHL team with another NHL franchise.

“We’re going to probably share with another (NHL) team for a couple of years,” he said of the AHL affiliate. “We’re going to start working to build youth hockey as soon as the practice facility opens next September. That’s how you build your fan base, when they’re young.”

The move isn’t exactly unexpected. The Vegas expansion team doesn’t even have a pro roster, let alone a minor league roster. There’s no prospects and no contracts at the moment, so there’s no rush to have an exclusive AHL affiliate. When the team debuts, loaning a handful of players to another, or multiple AHL teams is the best course of action until minor league depth is acquired and a full team is necessary.

Teams have shared AHL affiliates in the past. It’s not a perfect arrangement and there are few problems that come with it, but rushing a new minor league affiliate at this point in time makes little sense. Sharing a team will help Vegas get organized and when the time comes, they’ll have their own.

[Las Vegas Review-Journal]

About Liam McGuire

Social +Staff writer for The Comeback & Awful Announcing.