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Honest Question about AHL ownership


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#1 Uncle Danny

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 01:50 PM

Hey folks, honest question here. I'll be open in admitting that the extent of my GR following is done on this site, so forgive me if this is a silly question, but...

How does ownership of AHL teams work with regard to NHL ownership? By this I mean, does Illitch Holdings own the Griffins outright, so all salaries come out of the same pool as the Wings (cap notwithstanding)? Or is there a more complicated setup? Is this scenario enforced as the only way for AHL affiliates to be held, or is there no true boilerplate for such things? Also, I understand it is common for coaches (and players) to cut their teeth in the AHL -- is the same true for front office employees?

Thanks in advance!
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#2 CapnSmitty

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 03:11 PM

Hey folks, honest question here. I'll be open in admitting that the extent of my GR following is done on this site, so forgive me if this is a silly question, but...

How does ownership of AHL teams work with regard to NHL ownership? By this I mean, does Illitch Holdings own the Griffins outright, so all salaries come out of the same pool as the Wings (cap notwithstanding)? Or is there a more complicated setup? Is this scenario enforced as the only way for AHL affiliates to be held, or is there no true boilerplate for such things? Also, I understand it is common for coaches (and players) to cut their teeth in the AHL -- is the same true for front office employees?

Thanks in advance!



I know for a fact that Illitch Holdings does not have any part of ownership of the Griffins, I am also mostly sure that the players signed by the Wings (as in have a wings 2 way/1 way contract) are on the Wings payroll, anyone who is on an ATO or Griffins contract are on the Griffins Payroll.

#3 GROwl

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 05:09 PM

CapnSmitty is right. The Griffins are independently owned (by a group headed by Dan DeVos). They have had a Primary Affiliation with the Detroit Red Wings since 2002. Prior to that, it was with the Ottawa Senators. The newest agreement was signed in the Spring of 2007 and extends for a 5 year period - if I remember correctly. As part of the 2007 agreement, the Wings acquired responsibility for the GR coaches, and immediately fired Head Coach Greg Ireland who was the winningest coach ever for GR. I think this responsibility was negotiated back the following year after a horrible season with the new coach that Detroit picked. He was released too.

Also based on the agreement, Detroit must provide a minimum number of players to GR - I want to say its like 16 or 18. The rest are GR's responsibility. They sometimes sign a secondary affiliation with another NHL team - like with Dallas when the Stars were without their own primary AHL affiliate. As part of the affiliation agreement, GR works with the NHL club to determine how much playing time a player gets and on any individual development issues.

It is not common for employees of the AHL affiliate to graduate up to the NHL affiliate since they are usually independently owned. However, often the AHL coaches and equipment managers become like Black Aces similar to the players when the AHL season is done if the NHL team is still in the playoffs.

#4 Uncle Danny

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 12:10 AM

Also based on the agreement, Detroit must provide a minimum number of players to GR - I want to say its like 16 or 18. The rest are GR's responsibility.


Ahh, this is the tidbit I was after. I wondered what incentive the AHL has to play nice with the big boys if ownership was disparate. This now makes sense.

The bit on the coaches I'm sure leads to some heated discussions, but also makes a ton of sense since we want the kids learning the right brand of hockey for the bigs.

I got to wondering since we so raped the GR roster this season due to injury, and the results in the AHL standings seemed to reflect that. If I'm Dan DeVos, that can't make me happy.

Thanks to you both for the replies :)
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#5 VM1138

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 09:38 AM

Ahh, this is the tidbit I was after. I wondered what incentive the AHL has to play nice with the big boys if ownership was disparate. This now makes sense.

The bit on the coaches I'm sure leads to some heated discussions, but also makes a ton of sense since we want the kids learning the right brand of hockey for the bigs.

I got to wondering since we so raped the GR roster this season due to injury, and the results in the AHL standings seemed to reflect that. If I'm Dan DeVos, that can't make me happy.

Thanks to you both for the replies :)


I always wondered that myself. I know that they knew the risks going into it, but as a coach of the Griffins, I wouldn't be happy constantly struggling in the seasons because all my good players get called up all the time. Especially if it's in playoffs.

Just imagine if yuo're in a must-win playoff game to advance to the next round, and suddenly the Wings call up your best player to help them in their playoff game. I'd be a little unhappy with that, haha.
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#6 wally42

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 02:04 AM

off topic but awesome avatar. I have the black flag bars tattooed on my arm.



#7 joshy207

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Posted 08 August 2010 - 05:26 PM

There are a few NHL teams that own their AHL affiliates outright. I think Dallas, New Jersey, and Boston are among those, but I'm not positive.
As for the coaches losing players to sudden call-ups... it's all part of the deal at the developmental levels. It's kind of amazing the chain reaction an injury at the NHL level causes... someone up from AHL to NHL, someone up from ECHL to AHL, and sometimes it even goes deeper than that, down to the CHL, IHL, and the lower level pro leagues.





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