Time for my alternate speculation. This latest piece of news can tug things the other way:
There's been some long-time speculation that the AHL would end up extending further west, because the western-based NHL teams prefer to have their potential callups closer to home, and there are some regional marketing advantages to this arrangement.
Now, in the big post I landed here, I had mentioned the situations in Edmonton (where they are rather publically trying to trade away the AHL team they just received) and Utah (which has had rumors for some time given proximity to other teams). If this rumor about Colorado Eagles comes true, that changes the equation... where I use "considerably" or not after "equation" is an issue unto itself. Thing is, with the California markets where they are, and with Vancouver practically always having pined for a close-in affiliation (and Victoria is just a ferry ride away), you could see that western ECHL presence be eaten away.
Well, something to think about, anyway.