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OKC Blazers cease operations; city to talk with AHL team

ROBERT PRZYBYLO Modified: July 2, 2009 at 4:16 pm •  Published: July 2, 2009

Oklahoma City is set to begin negotiations to bring an American Hockey League franchise to town for the 2010-2011 season. But there won't be pro hockey here next season.

The Oklahoma City Blazers have suspended operations after failing to renew their lease with Oklahoma City to play in the Ford Center or Cox Center, a team official said Thursday.

The decision comes as Oklahoma City officials have filed paperwork clearing the way to start negotiations with "a prospective AHL franchise afflilated with Express Sports," according to city documents.

The city council is scheduled to vote Tuesday to approve a "Letter of Intent" between the city and AHL Hockey Club, LLC.

The Blazers did not renew their lease with the Ford Center after months of negotiations. According to city documents, the city and SMG were going to grant the Blazers a three-year renewal, but the Blazers have retracted the deal.

Blazers assistant general manager Josh Evans said it was purely a business decision and said the city and SMG were very accommodating in the process.

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