Wednesday evening Canes Country reported that the Carolina Hurricanes could be setting the wheels in motion to place their AHL affiliate closer to Raleigh, perhaps even Charlotte. Two days later there is still no official word, but more and more it looks like the Queen City could house the Canes top minor league team.
Chip Alexander wrote in today's News & Observer that Carolina "will have their affiliate in Charlotte next season." Although the N&O has softened its stance today — saying the team is now "expected" to make the move — reports are that Michael Kahn, owner of the ECHL's Charlotte Checkers, would purchase the Albany River Rats and move them to North Carolina's largest city.
River Rats owner Walter Robb has expressed a desire to sell the team, but has said he would want the franchise to remain in Albany. In response to the reports, Rats president and CEO Garen Szablewski called a press conference this afternoon calling the reports "exaggerated." Szablewski said any decision about the future of the Rats is one or two months away.
The Carolina Hurricanes again had no comment about the reports.