There has been an affiliation change in the ECHL, as the Kansas City Mavericks are now paired with the Calgary Flames. The Flames’ current AHL affiliate is the Stockton Heat.
“First, I want to thank the New York Islanders, and last year the St. Louis Blues, for allowing us to affiliate with them over the past couple of seasons,” said Mavericks owner Lamar Hunt Jr. “After having an opportunity to talk to several different NHL/AHL teams, we welcome the Calgary Flames and the Stockton Heat as our new affiliate for the 2017-18 season with a series of one-year contracts. We believe the Flames organization, while wanting us to help them develop players for future play at the AHL and NHL levels, also understands our need to be consistently competitive in the ECHL. We believe this is the most balanced approach for the Mavericks to win the Kelly Cup, have year-to-year continuity within our roster, and bring to Kansas City talented and young aspiring hockey players.”
The affiliation with the Flames organization is a year-to-year agreement, renewable at the end of the upcoming season.
The Mavericks will be replacing the Adirondack Thunder in working with the Flames. A total of six Calgary prospects spent time with Adirondack in 2016-17, including four during the Kelly Cup Playoffs.
“We wanted to move to an organization that we know that we will have a great relationship with, that understands what we are trying to accomplish, and one that we believe we can communicate and work well with,” said Mavericks general manager Brent Thiessen. “We’re very happy to say that we’re now with the Calgary Flames. It’s a very successful organization and a very storied franchise. We’re lucky to be working with a first class organization such as them.”
The Mavericks had been affiliated with the New York Islanders and the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers since the 2015-16 season. Prior to that partnership, the Mavericks worked with the AHL’s Chicago Wolves from 2011-12 through 2014-15. Kansas City also had a working agreement with the St. Louis Blues for the 2016-17 campaign while remaining the official affiliate of the Islanders.
“The Calgary Flames are pleased to have reached an affiliate agreement with the ECHL’s Kansas City Mavericks,” said Calgary Flames assistant general manager Brad Pascall. “Our organization was seeking a first class franchise with quality ownership and management that share the same principles and objectives for player development philosophy as our own club and we found a great fit with the owner Lamar Hunt, Jr. and general manager Brent Thiessen and the KC Mavericks.”
On Thursday, the Adirondack Thunder issued a statement indicating that they will make an announcement of their new NHL affiliation in the coming weeks.
“On behalf of the Thunder organization, we’d like to thank the Flames for two great seasons of ownership and affiliation,” Thunder head coach Cail MacLean said. “Calgary management helped us to build a strong foundation to the franchise and we are excited to build upon our success with a new NHL affiliation, which we expect to announce in the coming weeks.”
“Calgary provided us with a seamless ownership transition to our local coalition and we thank them for making the process quick and easy,” Glens Falls Civic Center general manager Jeff Mead said. “Over the past few months, we have been in contact with NHL teams and are close to announcing a new affiliation. We look forward to making year three of Adirondack Thunder hockey the best yet both on and off the ice.”
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