Calgary Flames temporarily relocating AHL team to Canada

The Calgary Flames are temporarily relocating their American Hockey League affiliate from California to north of the border due to cross-border travel restrictions as a result of COVID-19.

The team announced Thursday that the Stockton Heat will play this season in Calgary's Scotiabank Saddledome. That will give the Flames easier access to their players during the pandemic. The seven Canadian NHL teams are not crossing the border during the regular season this year.

The Heat will join the Belleville Senators (Ottawa), Laval Rocket (Montreal), Manitoba Moose (Winnipeg) and Toronto Marlies (Toronto) in the Canadian Division. The league says the division schedule will be released in the coming days.

The move leaves the Vancouver Canucks (Utica, New York) and Edmonton Oilers (Bakersfield, California) as the lone Canadian teams with U.S.-based AHL affiliates this season.