It’s Official: Baby Flames Move To Stockton

village-people-go-west-1979

The worst-kept secret in professional sports over the past year is now no longer a secret.

The American League finally announced in a press conference yesterday in San Jose that they’ve approved the formation of a Pacific Division to begin play in October. As part of the shift west, the Calgary Flames will be transferring their AHL farm club from Glens Falls, New York to Stockton, California.

The move gives the Flames their 12th official farm club in team history, after stops in Birmingham, Oklahoma City, Denver, Moncton, Salt Lake City, Saint John, Lowell, Omaha, Quad City, Abbotsford and Glens Falls.

More importantly, it saves the Flames (and their prospects) a ton of travel time. Ignoring any potential scheduling tweaks that will probably be announced eventually, here’s a simple fact: it’s about a 90 minute drive (give or take traffic) from Stockton to San Francisco’s airport (SFO) and about a three-hour flight to Calgary. From Glens Falls? You’re driving to Montreal and then flying. Ignoring the role of potential weather delays flying east-to-west or south-to-north, you save a ton of time getting bodies to Calgary from Stockton compared to Glens Falls.

Then again…