Meet the AHL


Hi,  and welcome to the American Hockey League.

We here at What The Hell Is Icing Industries have been immersing ourselves into the wonderful world of the NHL. But we’ve so far neglected the building blocks of this league.  How can we even think to understand the finished product, before we see how it’s made?  I’m a baseball guy, and the way I relate to things is by understanding farm teams. So, without further ado, let’s get to know the triple-A teams of the NHL.

Leading off are the Abbotsford Heat (Calgary Flames). This is a two-fer because I don’t know where Abbotsford is, and I’m still bitter towards Calgary for moving the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights out of my hometown (after only two seasons) to the Quad Cities (they didn’t last long there either). And the Heat?  Come on let’s get more creative. I played on middle school basketball team called the Heat. What about Abbotsford Hell-fire, Abbotsford Inferno, Abbotsford Skin-melters…

Adirondack Phantoms (Philadelphia Flyers) – Again, let me say this must be another city in Canada because this is a cool name for any team. [ED- We know this isn’t ACTUALLY a city in Canada, but doesn’t it totally seem like it should be?  I imagine rustic cabins built on puffy clouds of snow… maple syrup and fresh, locally brewed beer.  Maybe a doctor moves in from New York City, and laments the lack of bagels. There’s a cool, hippy, philosophical DJ. And a female pilot, who’s a bit cold, but has a heart of gold…] Phantoms are terrifying and haunt the shit out of things (plus Ben Affleck was the bomb in the movie!). This franchise use to play at the Spectrum in Philly before that facility was blown up.

Albany Devils (New Jersey Devils) – This is the first of several cases in which the farm team has the same name as the parent club. Albany, didn’t you used to be called the River Rats or something?  The River Rats totally trumps sharing the same as your NHL affiliate. Change it back!


Binghamton Senators (Ottawa Senators) – Sure, I could go after the fact they share a name with Ottawa, but look at their awesome logo. It looks like Joe from the Family Guy only with a five o’clock shadow and holding a hockey stick. Of all the AHL teams this is the best logo because it really captures the minor league spirit, gritty and desperate.

Bridgeport Sound Tigers (New York Islanders) – Now that’s what I’m talking about! Binghamton Senators who? Here’s a logo that’s so coo that I’m not even asking what the hell a Sound Tiger is. Congrats Bridgeport, Connecticut, you’ve got a cool name. (And probably a team that’s better than the one your partnered with.)

Charlotte Checkers (Carolina Hurricanes) – Alright, close proximity to your NHL team, check. Hockey reference in your name, check. Polar bear logo, check…wait, what in the Orlando Solar Bears (old International Hockey League team) is going on here? Sure, it’s a neat logo, but having lived in Florida for a year, I hear checkers and think about the fast food chain.

Chicago Wolves (Vancouver Canucks) – There used to be a discussion, back when there was a team called the Atlanta Thrashers, was who was better in Chicago, the Wolves or Blackhawks. I don’t think that conversation goes on any more.

Connecticut Whale (New York Rangers) – The Hartford Whalers, they are not, but I give credit where credit is due, having another team with whale in their name is spectacular. I just hope that the brass bonanza is played at their games (true hockey fans get this).

Anyone else kind of wish they were called Gryffindor?

Grand Rapid Griffins (Detroit Red Wings) – Teams that are in the same state as their big NHL brothers get props for me over those who are located much further away (looking your way Vancouver and Wolves). The Griffins have a strong logo, which I feel must give them an advantage on a nightly bases.

Hamilton Bulldogs (Montreal Canadians) – Seems like we’ve gone awhile since mentioning an AHL team based in Canada. Hamilton, as you know, is trying hard to acquire an NHL franchise (Ottawa and Toronto don’t want another team in Ontario). This logo I thought for a second was Minnesota-Duluth. Look it up… freaky close.

Hershey Bears (Washington Capitals) – Having a bear swatting away a hockey puck is pretty awesome, and for a team based in the chocolate capital, bravo for not going cartoony with this. However, the Hershey Choco Taco’s had potential or the Hershey Kisses, their value just wasn’t in intimidation.

Houston Aeros (Minnesota Wild) – This is cool because it’s not the archery kind of Aeros (see what I did there), but rather aeronomics… you know… flight. I award this long running franchise several creative points. The parent and minor league club are an odd match in my opinion given the distance, but I kinda like the odd couple vibe here.

Totally a Saturday morning cartoon villain

Lake Erie Monsters (Colorado Avalanche) – This may be the best logo of all the AHL franchises. Honestly, I kinda feel threatened by this logo, because I don’t know if this monster is stalking me, waiting for the kill, or if it’s just ashamed of it’s nose and so is hiding it under the water.

Manchester Monarchs (Los Angeles Kings) – This Lion looks a little off kilter.  But double points because looking a little unstable works for me. What doesn’t work is getting that great call saying you’ve been promoted and then having to commute from Manchester to LA. Holy frequent flier miles!

Milwaukee Admirals (Nashville Predators) – I really like this logo, but I also really liked their old logo from when they played in the IHL (it was an admiral wearing skates and holding a hockey stick. I always pictured the admiral falling, because how would he possibly know how to skate?)

Norfolk Admirals (Tampa Bay Lightning) – Alright yes, this name is appropriate given Norfolk, Virginia’s strong navy ties, but c’mon, Milwaukee beat you to this name. Aside: Geographically I have no problem with this, because it makes sense to me.

Oklahoma City Barons (Edmonton Oilers) – I give OKC credit for playing off their parent clubs name, because Oil Barons is perfect for this city. What I will say is that how is Oklahoma City not the AHL team for the Dallas Stars?

Peoria Rivermen (St. Louis Blues) – Hey, how about another nautical them name? But credit Peoria for sticking with their IHL logo. (Though it would have been cool if the captain in the logo was holding a bottle of hooch, paying homage to Peoria’s bootlegging history). This is another geographical match made in heaven (sorry, but I believe if you need a player, why make them play planes, trains and automobiles to get to your club). If it’ll play in Peoria, it’ll play anywhere… BOOM, music man!

Portland Pirates (Phoenix Coyotes) – I’ve got a strong feeling this isn’t Portland, Oregon but Portland, Maine, which makes the Manchester-LA commute look like nothing. Sure enough, this is the worst travel you can get if you’re getting called up, but I like the logo… plus it’s fun to imagine pirates in Maine.

Providence Bruins (Boston Bruins) – Well sure it’s a quick trip from Providence to Boston, but this is laziness at its finest.  A) they share the same name B) change out the letter and you have the SAME LOGO!

Rochester Americans (Buffalo Sabres) – I won’t make fun of this name because it just sounds classy, like a franchise that’s been around forever. Guess what? It has, and it just seems right to me (it’s also close to the NHL team).

Rockford Icehogs (Chicago Blackhawks) – When I first saw this name I immediately thought of how funny it be to see hogs on ice (and for some reason thought of Pigs in Space!). This is another match I like between the AHL team and NHL club because the distance is so close.

San Antonio Rampage (Florida Panthers) – Having a bull or steer, whatever you want to call it, is perfect, even if I don’t connect Rampage and Bulls… unless they are on parade (Rage Against the Machine points). And yes, I don’t care about the San Antonio to Miami distance, because it’s a easy flight.

Springfield Falcons (Columbus Blue Jackets) – Has the logo which I expected, because if you have a bird or animal of pray, it MUST be swooping up a hockey stick or another team’s mascot. Initially, I thought this was Springfield, Illinois, but I found out it’s Massachusetts, which isn’t terrible, given Columbus is the destination.

St. John’s Icecaps (Winnipeg Jets) – Alright, you get credit for having for having an extremely unique name. However, the distance between St. John’s in Canada to Manitoba, yikes! I do like that we’ve got two fairly new franchises teaming up, but the distance is so far. I do kind of wish the logo was an iceberg ripping through the Titanic.

Someone was on acid when they drew this

Syracuse Crush (Anaheim Ducks) – I don’t know what the crush guy is suppose to be, but it looks like a yeti. Solid logo. Love yetis.

Texas Stars (Dallas Stars) – Yay, originality! There really isn’t any difference in these logos. The location is good, because this AHL team is located outside Austin, about three hours from the American Airlines Center in downtown Dallas.

Toronto Marlies (Toronto Maple Leafs) – Full disclosure, and please shoot the messenger, but I don’t know what a Marlie is (unless it’s a big golden retriever from an Owen Wilson movie), and these logos look the same. This wins the proximity award since both teams are in the same city and have the exact same look.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (Pittsburgh Penguins) – Once again, another franchise sharing the same name with its parent team. The difference here is that Pittsburgh lent their popular early 90’s logo, the Penguin on steroids.

Worchester Sharks (San Jose Guppies) – The final AHL/NHL pairing is for the San Jose franchise who, if you’ll recall in a previous entry, until they prove themselves ARE the Guppies. It’s fitting that our last combo would also have a huge distance between the two, a common theme with these teams. The names seem like they’re lacking in creativity until we remember that Jaws was set in Massachusetts (awesome) and of course the bay area has a lot of both Sharks and Guppies in it.

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15 thoughts on “Meet the AHL

  1. Sleeper Service says:

    A few things.
    1. Abbotsford is in the BC lower mainland area, near Vancouver.

    2. Adirondack refers to the Adirondack Mountains in Northeastern New York. Not Canadian, they’re another New York state team.

    3. Toronto Marlies refers to a previous Toronto area team, the Toronto Marlboros. Marlies was their nickname, and when the Leafs moved their AHL team from St. John’s they reused the name.

    • Bob Gurnett says:

      The moooooooooore you know. *Cue the rainbow!*

      The What the Hell is Icing team has limited Canadian exposure, so any information is actually helpful. Right now, I can say that I have been to Winnipeg, Niagara Falls (and let me say, the ladies of Niagara Falls are quite lovely, especially the ones you find when you go oh, say, about a mile from the tourist areas. You know the ones I mean.) My experience with Winnipeg consists of going to Club Tijuana after Blue Bombers games and then sitting outside and watching people fight (Winnipeggers know what I am talking about.)

      Anyway, thanks for the comment. We appreciate any insight into the far away mysterious foreign land known as Canada. Is it true that Canadian babies are born with beards?

  2. The Texas Stars are located in Cedar Park, TX… a northwest suburb of Austin, TX… A good 3-4 hours from Dallas

  3. Mike Vamosi says:

    Sorry about that I got Frisco mixed up with Austin in terms of which minor league team plays where. I’ll strive to do better in the future, thanks for the response and keeping us honest.

  4. chaosof99 says:

    FYI, the River Rats didn’t change their name to “Devils”. The River Rats franchise was sold to a guy from Charlotte who owned the Charlotte Checkers, who were playing in the ECHL at the time (which is the minor league below the AHL, think the hockey AA league). He moved the River Rats to Charlotte and merged them with his ECHL franchise. The Devils moved in from Lowell to fill the void.

    Interestingly, a similar situation (to the one of the River Rats) occurred with the Thrashers and the Jets. The guys who bought the Thrashers owned the Manitoba Moose who were based in Winnipeg and played in the AHL. Their original plan was to move the Thrashers to Winnipeg and call the Manitoba Moose. However, they were convinced by the fan reaction to call them the Winnipeg Jets instead, because the fans wanted to return to the name of the original NHL franchise there. The first Jets had moved to Phoenix in 1996 and are now called the Coyotes, just in case the NBA refugees on this site didn’t know.

    • Hockey is the most confusing sport ever. WOW.

      • Bob Gurnett says:

        It would be like if Seattle got a team back and let’s say it was the Hornets (totally possible). Instead of keeping the name the same, they decide to change the name to the Sonics. Two totally different franchises with two totally different histories. Though, if that happened, I would have to stop calling OKC the Zombie Sonics and start calling that team Lazurus Sonics, or something a bit catchier. Sportsball is making my brain hurt.

      • chaosof99 says:

        It’s not that confusing. Same thing happened in football. The Cleveland Browns moved Baltimore and became the Ravens, and a different team a couple of years moved in to become the Browns. Only the new Browns were an expansion team, rather than a relocated team.

      • Mike Vamosi says:

        I think I’d prefer if more went that route like the Sonics and Browns. Retiring your history then going to a new one and starting up as a expansion team. Then, should a team return to the former town, it just goes as an empty void in that city’s history.

  5. Philthymc says:

    Couple of interesting things to note concerning the duel Admirals names:

    1. The team in Milwaukee gets it’s name from a line of refrigerators that the owner made.
    2. The ship in Norfolk’s emblem is based off of the U.S.S Wisconsin, the World War 2 battleship that’s permanently docked in Norfolk as a museum.
    3. The previous team in Norfolk, the Hampton Roads Admirals, acted as an occasional ECHL affiliate for Milwaukee.

  6. Jim Boeheim says:

    hey, guy!

    the Syracuse team is named “Crunch,” not “Crush.” It says it right on the logo!

  7. Scratch Anfinz says:

    Also, it’s Worcester, not Worchester. There is no H.

    They used to be the Worcester Ice Cats (St Louis Blues) before StL wanted a closer affiliate, and a few years later the Sharks moved in.

    We all still miss the Ice Cats, even though we love our Worcester Sharks!

  8. i am student of gender studies . My research report on violence against women so plz help me and send me minimum five female acid thrown reports

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