We have four new NHL/AHL affiliations to announce: Lake Erie Monsters/Columbus Blue Jackets, Springfield Falcons/Arizona Coyotes, Colorado Avalanche/San Antonio Rampage, and Portland Pirates/Florida Panthers.
The Monsters had been affiliated with the Colorado Avalanche, while the Blue Jackets had been affiliated with the Springfield Falcons. Of the four new NHL/AHL affiliations, this is one that matches the best in terms of geography.
“The Blue Jackets couldn’t be more excited and proud to have the Lake Erie Monsters as our American Hockey League affiliate,” said Blue Jackets President of Hockey Operations John Davidson. “Both organizations are committed to winning and providing a great experience for hockey fans and we believe Cleveland, whose hockey roots date to the late-1920s, is the perfect place for our young players to grow, develop and have great success. Our sport has grown tremendously throughout the state of Ohio in recent years and we believe this partnership between two great hockey markets will allow us to continue that growth.”
”Cleveland’s Lake Erie Monsters are very excited to be a part of this new affiliation partnership with the Columbus Blue Jackets,” said Monsters President Kerry Bubolz. “Having this AHL-NHL connection in the state of Ohio will be great for the Monsters and Blue Jackets organizations, co-partners such as Fox Sports Ohio and all of the great hockey fans in the state. We look forward to this unique kinship with the Blue Jackets hockey operations staff, coaches, players and business team, both on and off the ice in Cleveland and Columbus.”
For the Coyotes and Falcons, it’s a reunion — they were previously affiliated from 1994 to 2004.
“We are very pleased to partner with the Springfield Falcons,” said Coyotes general manager Don Maloney. “Springfield is one of the best hockey markets in the AHL and a great environment to develop our top prospects. We’re looking forward to a great relationship with the Falcons.”
“We are looking forward to starting this partnership with the Arizona Coyotes,” said Falcons president Sarah Pompea. “The Falcons are dedicated to serving the Greater Springfield community both on and off the ice and we are thrilled about a long-term partnership with an organization that supports our commitment to this city.”
The Rampage and Avalanche announced a five-year affiliation agreement beginning in 2015-16.
“Under the leadership of two terrific Hockey Hall of Famers in Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy, the Avalanche are committed to developing the same type of great young hockey players that have led Colorado to two Stanley Cup championships,” said Rick Pych, president of Spurs Sports & Entertainment.
“We are pleased to announce this new affiliation with San Antonio,” said Avalanche executive vice president and general manager Joe Sakic. “The Rampage organization has a great reputation and we look forward to our prospects developing in such an environment.”