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NHL Hurricanes Prepare To Cut Ties With Charlotte Checkers

Charlotte Checkers players congratulated goalie Alex Nedeljkovic after a win in November.
David Boraks
Charlotte Checkers players congratulated goalie Alex Nedeljkovic after a win in November.

The Carolina Hurricanes are preparing to drop the Charlotte Checkers as their minor league hockey affiliate.  The move comes after a reported breakdown in relations between the NHL and AHL teams.  

In a statement Wednesday night, Checkers officials said they are aware that the Hurricanes are near an agreement with the AHL's Chicago Wolves. They said severing ties could create confusion at a time when NHL teams are "placing great value on affiliations with closer proximity" between clubs.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reports that the Checkers could affiliate with the NHL's Florida Panthers.

The Checkers joined the American Hockey League and affiliated with the Hurricanes in 2010. That's when the Hurricanes moved their AHL affiliation from Albany, New York. Since then, the close proximity has allowed easy transfers of players. 

A year ago, the Checkers beat the Chicago Wolves to win the AHL championship, known as the Calder Cup.

Here's the Checkers' full statement: 

"While we are aware that the Carolina Hurricanes are nearing an affiliation agreement with the AHL’s Chicago Wolves, the Hurricanes have had little dialogue with us regarding this matter. In an era when NHL teams are placing great value on affiliations with closer proximity between the two clubs, we understand the confusion that such a move would cause. We will explore other options for our affiliation and look forward to continuing in the American Hockey League when play resumes."

David Boraks is a veteran journalist who covers climate change for WFAE. See more at www.wfae.org/climate-news. He also has covered housing and homelessness, energy and the environment, transportation and business.