The Wranglers will be taking the ice once again in Calgary, Alberta.
Announced yesterday by the Flames, the Calgary Wranglers will be the new name of the relocated Stockton Heat of the American Hockey League, making their debut during the upcoming 2022-23 AHL season. The Wranglers will serve as the top minor league affiliate of the NHL’s Flames; currently, both teams have no ECHL affiliate.
Along with the new name, the Wranglers also unveiled two of their team’s logos — a primary and a wordmark design.
The Wranglers logo, a red and yellow “W” with two yellow flames shooting up from the bottom, really has nothing to do with the club’s actual name (aside from its first letter) and more to do with their affiliation with the Flames. Still, it reminds me of the old Atlanta Flames logo, and that’s always a win with me. The wordmark logo utilizes the “W” logo and continues spelling out the team’s name in red and yellow lettering.
The Wranglers’ new home and away uniforms, as well as their secondary logo, will be “unveiled in the near future,” according to the team.
With the arrival of the Wranglers, we lose the Stockton Heat, who played seven seasons out of Stockton, California, from 2015 to 2022. The final Heat season was also their best, finishing first place in the AHL’s Pacific Division with a 45-16-5-2 record and advancing to the Western Conference Final before falling to the eventual Calder Cup Champion Chicago Wolves in six games.
The original Calgary Wranglers (no, they’re not named for a denim company) played in the Western Hockey League from 1977-78 through the end of the 1986-87 season. The major junior level team saw several future NHL players suiting up for them during their teenage years, including Kelly Kisio, Ryan Walter, Dana Murzyn, Mark Tinordi, and longtime Flames goaltender Mike Vernon. The Wranglers moved to Lethbridge in 1987, playing today as the Lethbridge Hurricanes.
The Calgary Wranglers’ first game in their new city will be played on October 16 when they host another team playing their first-ever game, the Coachella Valley Firebirds, an expansion AHL team affiliated with the NHL’s Seattle Kraken.