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Utica lands AHL franchise, will be affiliated with Canucks

The Canadian Press

6/14/2013 2:04:24 PM

UTICA, N.Y. - The American Hockey League is returning to the Mohawk Valley of upstate New York.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the Utica Memorial Auditorium will be the new home of the Utica Comets, who will be the minor league affiliate of the National Hockey League's Vancouver Canucks.

The Comets will kick off their inaugural season this fall at the 4,000-seat Utica Memorial Auditorium, which will be renovated with the help of $5 million in state aid.

The new franchise brings the number of AHL clubs in New York State to six, joining the Rochester Americans, Syracuse Crunch, Binghamton Senators, Albany Devils and Adirondack Phantoms in the 30-team league.

Utica also has been home to the Devils of the AHL and has had franchises in the United Hockey League and North Eastern Hockey League.