The plot thickens…

Well, not really, but this is mildly interesting.

Per Lindsay Kramer, it seems that a change in the management of the Blue Jackets could allow the triggering of an “out” clause in the affiliation with Syracuse. In other words, since Doug has been fired, the new CBJ GM could decide to move the AHL affiliation to another city, or the ownership in Syracuse could decide to go their separate ways from the Jackets.

Of course, a lot of people have speculated on the Jackets eventually moving their #1 affiliate to some place in Ohio, which would give them an entire system in the Buckeye state (Youngstown, Dayton, New AHL Team, Columbus).

I don’t see this happening right now, though. For one thing, there’s no viable AHL franchise in Ohio lacking in an affiliate at the moment. Cleveland’s new team is affiliated with the Avs. The dormant Cincinnati franchise has been sold to new owners in Illinois, and though the Robinsons could theoretically buy another AHL franchise and move it to Cincy, the failure of the Rail Raiders (not to mention the attendance woes of the Cyclones) makes that seem an unlikely scenario. There was some scuttlebutt a little while ago that Toledo might pursue an AHL franchise for their forthcoming arena, but one way or another, nothing’s doing there for another couple of years. And that pretty much exhausts the plausible AHL cities in Ohio (has Akron ever had pro hockey?).

So while I suppose a new GM could decide to move the CBJ affiliation out of Syracuse — which, for the record, I hope doesn’t happen — they won’t be coming to Ohio any time soon.


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