The AHL's Lake Erie Monsters are expected to announce a multi-year relationship with the NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets, the Columbus Dispatch reports.
The Monsters would become the Columbus team's top affiliate.
Currently, the Monsters are affiliated with the Colorado Avalanche. The Denver Post
reports that the Avalanche will assume the San Antonio AHL club as their top farm team. The Blue Jackets' current affiliate, the Springfield Falcons, will announce their parting of ways today.
Among other logistical benefits, the hope for this new Cleveland-Columbus relationship is that local fans will attend more Monsters games, and indeed, more Blue Jackets games, because presumably they'll be more aware of the comings and goings of top prospects (not unlike the Indians' relationship with both Columbus and Akron).
The Blue Jackets, for their part, failed to make the NHL's Stanley Cup Playoffs this year, landing in the eleventh spot in the NHL's Eastern Conference. The Monsters, who play at Quicken Loans Arena and are owned by Dan Gilbert, didn't fare so well this season
And if you're unfamiliar with the Monsters, here's what semi-pro hockey life looks and smells like behind the scenes