Steelheads upgrade? New Seattle NHL team looks to Boise for AHL team

The Idaho Steelheads launched in 1997 in Downtown Boise as an affiliate of the West Coast Hockey League. It later moved up to the East Coast Hockey League — and change could again be in the air.

A new, unnamed NHL team will launch in Seattle in 2021. Along with the launch, NHL Seattle (as it’s known for now) is looking for an affiliate team. The two top candidates? Palm Springs, California — and Boise.

“It’s a really big deal and we want to create the perfect environment for our hockey staff to develop players,” NHL Seattle CEO Tod Leiweke said in a radio interview on KJR-AM. “We’re still doing an analysis of the two markets, but I will acknowledge those are the two markets.”

The American Hockey League serves as the developmental league for the NHL – just one step below the top professional hockey league in the country.

Right now, Palm Springs doesn’t host an arena capable of hosting hockey, but a 12,000-seat arena is in the planning stages and could be open by 2021 – the target date for the AHL team to launch.

Idaho Steelheads president Eric Trapp told the Idaho Press in February Seattle NHL officials contacted the team.

Idaho Sports Properties owns the Steelheads. Some, but not all NHL teams own their AHL affiliate teams. The Steelheads are currently an affiliate of the Dallas Stars, which also uses the (Austin) Texas Stars as its AHL team.

Your help powers BoiseDev

This exclusive content comes thanks to the members of BoiseDev FIRST. They get our popular daily newsletter packed with scoops.  Sign up today

First look at student housing in Winco Foods parking lot

BoiseDev first broke word of a new 7-story building along Myrtle St. in Downtown Boise earlier this year. Now...

‘Impressive’ new addition to Boise skyline about to take off

A long-awaited new addition to the Downtown Boise skyline is about to start sprouting up. Scott Schoenherr with Rafanelli...

High profile Vista Ave. art project still in the works – details & timeline

A multi-year attempt to add art to the Vista Ave. corridor could slide into 2020. The idea sprang from...

Partnership brings Women’s Business Center back to Treasure Valley

The Boise and Twin Falls areas will soon have new Women's Business Centers up and running after several years without one.

Black Box to open world’s second VR gym in Downtown Boise

A new virtual reality workout gym is set to open soon in Downtown Boise. It will be the second public offering...

Ahead of mayoral run, a look at McLean’s 2015 campaign donations

In January, BoiseDev published an in-depth look at the 2015-cycle campaign finance records for Boise Mayor Dave...