The Cleveland Monsters (AHL) and the Columbus Blue Jackets have announced a multi-year extension of their affiliation agreement. Terms of the extension were not disclosed.
The Monsters have been the Blue Jackets’ AHL affiliate since the 2015-16 season which culminated with the club capturing the 2016 Calder Cup championship, the first in franchise history and the first by a Columbus affiliate.
During the 2018-19 campaign, the Monsters compiled a 37-29-8-2 record for 84 points and qualified for the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs for the second time in the past four years. In a first-round series matchup that mirrored its parent club, the Monsters defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning’s AHL affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch, in four games before falling to the Toronto Marlies (Toronto Maple Leafs) in the North Division Final. The Monsters finished the 2018-19 season averaging 8,901 fans per game, third in the AHL, ending the season in the top three in league attendance for the sixth consecutive year. The club also won the AHL’s award for best overall fan experience for the 2018-19 season.
“The partnership has been very successful for both organizations and markets over the past four years and we look forward to having our top prospects continue their development in Cleveland,” said Bill Zito, Columbus Blue Jackets Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations.
Mike Ostrowski, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Monsters added, “We are thrilled to continue our affiliation with the Blue Jackets. Throughout our first four years together, we have grown the overall connection for hockey fans in the state of Ohio and we look forward to continued growth of our partnership into the future.”
The Monsters will open their 13th AHL season, and fifth as the Blue Jackets affiliate, under new head coach Mike Eaves on Friday, October 4th when they visit the Laval Rocket. The club makes it home debut at the newly-transformed Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Friday, October 11th vs. the Syracuse Crunch. The Blue Jackets open their 19th NHL season on Friday, October 4th with a home game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.