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Report: Springfield Falcons to be AHL affiliate for Arizona Coyotes

Reports suggest the Arizona Coyotes will have a new AHL affiliate for next season.

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

According to a tweet from Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch, the Springfield Falcons are expected to become the new AHL affiliate of the Arizona Coyotes for the 2015-16 season.

The Falcons—who are 37-28-8-1 (83 points) this season —were previously the affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets, and have held that relationship since 2010.

The Coyotes are currently affiliated with the Portland Pirates, who are neck and neck with a 37-27-7-2 record and 83 points.  Both teams are currently fighting for a spot in the Calder Cup Playoffs.

Portland has been affiliated with the Coyotes since the 2011 season, and is expected to become the Florida Panthers AHL affiliate for the 2015-16 season.

The Coyotes have yet to confirm the report, and there are still other NHL clubs without a designated AHL affiliate next year, such as the Colorado Avalanche. So it is possible that Arizona will not be in Springfield.

While the move to Springfield does not do much to solve the issue of significant geographical distance between the Coyotes and their AHL affiliate, it would ensure the Coyotes' farm team has a place to play next season.

It remains to be seen if—or more likely, when—the Coyotes will move their AHL affiliate to the West Coast to facilitate faster call-ups for most of the season. Coyotes' CEO Anthony LeBlanc has already stated that the move westward should not be expected this year or next year.

The Falcons are expected to hold a press conference on Friday at 12 p.m. Eastern Time to make "a major announcement," according to the team's Twitter.