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Las Vegas begins search for AHL affiliate

Ethan Miller / Getty Images Entertainment / Getty

Bill Foley had barely completed the purchase of his first hockey team before he began searching for his second.

Foley, owner of the NHL's expansion franchise in Las Vegas, is expected to move quickly on a minor-league affiliate, though it's not yet known if he's looking to buy or partner with another club.

There are currently 30 AHL clubs, meaning one team would need to double up once Las Vegas brings the NHL to 31 teams.

"It’s like building another team from scratch, only cheaper," Murray Craven, the team's senior vice-president, told Steve Carp of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "We’re still trying to figure out what we want to do. The choices (for expansion) aren't that numerous."

Should Las Vegas look to purchase its own AHL franchise, Foley has previously expressed interest in placing a minor-league club in Reno, Nev., Fresno, Calif., or Salt Lake City, Utah.

The AHL has seen a western shift in recent years, with the NHL's western conference clubs moving their minor-league teams to the likes of San Diego, Calif. and Tucson, Ariz., among other locales. Foley's AHL club would likely compete in the same division.

While it's unknown where the club will call home, Craven was quick to rule out placing the team in the same city as its parent club, Las Vegas, stating, "I think we’d be better served having our affiliate elsewhere."

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