AHL's Moose to be farm team for Winnipeg NHL club

The AHL's Manitoba Moose will become the farm team for the new Winnipeg-based NHL franchise, True North Chairman Mark Chipman said Tuesday.

The AHL's Manitoba Moose will become the farm team for the new Winnipeg-based NHL franchise, True North Chairman Mark Chipman said Tuesday.

Chipman said True North Sports and Entertainment will retain ownership of the Moose as the farm team for their new NHL team. The AHL's Moose are currently the farm team for the NHL's Vancouver Canucks.
Manitoba Moose will become the farm team for Winnipeg's new NHL franchise. ((David Lipnowski/Canadian Press))

But that will change now that the same ownership group has purchase the Atlanta Thrashers and plans to move the club to Winnipeg for the 2011-2012 NHL season.

"It goes hand in hand with the way we see building the National Hockey League team," said Chipman. "It's going to be a vital component to developing young hockey players in the AHL."

Chipman says the owners haven't decided where the AHL's Moose will be relocated but are strongly considering St. John's Newfoundland.

Former Newfoundland premier Danny Williams has been fronting the effort to bring the AHL's Manitoba Moose to Newfoundland and Labrador. But he said the bid to move the Moose there is perilously close to failing since the province rejected a request for a $500,000 annual subsidy from St. John's Sports and Entertainment. SJSE is the group that runs the Mile One Centre in St. John's.