June 16, 2016 1 Comment
The following is Part 1 of a two-part story on the Ontario Reign’s inaugural season in the American Hockey League, looking at how they did off the ice, and in terms of developing Los Angeles Kings prospects.
LOS ANGELES — On January 29, 2015, when the American Hockey League announced that five teams would move to California to begin play in a new Pacific Division, the Manchester Monarchs, the Kings’ AHL affiliate, was in the midst of an outstanding regular season that would end with them in the Calder Cup Playoffs.
The Monarchs not only went on a deep playoff run, but they went on to win the 2015 Calder Cup Championship.
But the Monarchs’ time to celebrate was rather short, as the team moved to Ontario, California over the summer to become the AHL edition of the Ontario Reign, while the ECHL version of the Reign moved east to become the ECHL Manchester Monarchs.
For all intents and purposes, the Kings swapped their AHL and ECHL affiliates, bringing their AHL affiliate more than 3,000 miles west—virtually into their own backyard, and in their inaugural season in the AHL, the Reign were highly successful despite losing in the Western Conference Final to the eventual Calder Cup Champion Lake Erie Monsters in a four-game sweep.