In a press conference yesterday in Beaumont, the Texas Wildcatters announced that they have signed an affiliation agreement with the Florida Panthers and the San Antonio Rampage. The agreement will last for one year, but does not specify the number of Panthers prospects will be placed on the Wildcatters. The press release (available at http://www.wildcattershockey.com/ind...at=news&id=199) reads as follows:
BEAUMONT, TX (September 1, 2004) – The Texas Wildcatters announced today they have signed an affiliation agreement with the Florida Panthers of the NHL and Florida’s top farm club, the San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League (AHL). The one-year agreement does not specify how many professional players will be sent to Texas.
“We are looking forward to a successful relationship with the Texas Wildcatters,” Panthers General Manager Mike Keenan said. “Their club will be in charge of working with some of the Panthers talented young players. We are confident that Head Coach/Director of Hockey Operations Robert Dirk and his staff will do an excellent job developing our prospects and acclimating them to the world of professional hockey.”
“Having players assigned to the Wildcatters with AHL and NHL aspirations is an added bonus to the team that is already assembled,” said Wildcatters Head Coach Robert Dirk. “We have been able to sign players this off-season who want to advance to the AHL and NHL and this affiliation gives those players additional exposure to the Rampage and Panthers.”
The Wildcatters are entering their second season in the ECHL, this is their first season with an AHL/NHL affiliation. Last season as an independent, four Texas players were called up to the AHL, including Lukas Smital, who played one game with the Rampage.
The Panthers have been affiliated with San Antonio for two years. In all, 15 players from the ECHL have taken the ice with the Florida Panthers. This off-season, the Panthers signed Wildcatters minority owner Jamie McLennan who has appeared in 228 games as an NHL goaltender.
The home opener is October 30th vs. the Louisiana IceGators. Partial, group and full-season ticket plans are now available for the 2004-2005 Texas Wildcatters season. For more information about the Wildcatters, log onto www.wildcattershockey.com or call (409) 951-5500.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies Vice President and General Manager Dan Belisle announced last night at the second annual "Bullies Town Meeting" that he has an agreement in principle with a National Hockey League team for a full fledged affiliation in 2004-05. The announcement, including the release of the NHL parent club, is expected to become official in the very near future.
"We're excited about the many possibilities that having an NHL affiliation brings to us for this upcoming season," said Belisle. "Not only can we expect to see quality prospects in Atlantic City, but hopefully this alleviates the pressure of potentially losing several players to different organizations throughout the year."
In their three-year history, despite working agreements with different NHL teams, the Bullies have never had an official affiliation.