ABBOTSFORD (NEWS1130) – The City of Abbotsford says it’s not talking to the owner of the Vancouver Canucks about buying its struggling minor league hockey team.

City manager Frank Pizzuto is denying rumours that Francesco Aquilini wants to buy the Abbotsford Heat and the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre.

“The Canucks’ AHL franchise would be a good fit for Abbotsford, and it may well be, but we are certainly not engaged in any discussions that would do anything at this point.”

The Canucks also say there is no deal in the works.

The minor league franchise has struggled to sell tickets, and because it’s owned by the city, taxpayers are on the hook for its shortfalls.

It’s currently the farm team for the Calgary Flames.

Moving the Canucks top prospects to Abbotsford would likely give ticket sales a much-needed boost, but Pizzuto says it’s not happening.

“There haven’t been any discussions with Mr. Aquilini,” Pizzuto says.

The Canucks still have a year left on their deal with their current farm team, the Chicago Wolves.