It is now apparently a done deal. AHL hockey is coming back to Utica, according to the Vancouver Sun.

After months of speculation that a team would locate in Utica, the Vancouver Sun is reporting today that the NHL's Vancouver Canucks will in fact move their farm team to the Utica Aud.

Full story from the Vancouver Sun:

VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Canucks have received American Hockey League approval to move their orphaned farm team to Utica in upper New York state.

The franchise, previously operated as the Peoria Rivermen, was purchased from the St. Louis Blues two months ago. The Canucks had been hoping to move the team to a location in B.C., specifically Abbotsford, but a deal could not be struck to have the Calgary Flames leave their sweetheart deal in Abbotsford, which forced the Canucks to look elsewhere.

Utica last had a team in the AHL in 1993 — the Utica Devils — and was looking for an NHL affiliation so it could rejoin the league. The Canucks will have full control over the playing roster. The Canucks were affiliated with the Chicago Wolves the last two years but didn't have full roster control as the Wolves were permitted to bring in some of their own players.

The team will play out of the Utica Memorial Auditorium, an aging 4,000-seat building that will require renovations to accommodate the American Hockey League.

A press conference is scheduled for noon Eastern time in Utica on Friday to announce the new agreement.