Kalamazoo signs affiliation agreement with Vancouver Canucks
Kalamazoo, Mich. - The Kalamazoo Wings, proud member of the ECHL, announced the team has reached an agreement to be an affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Vancouver Canucks for the upcoming 2011-2012 season.
Under the affiliation arrangement, during the 2011-12 season,Vancouver will assign players to Kalamazoo. Already having established a minor league system in the Midwest, the Canucks American Hockey League affiliate is the Chicago Wolves.
Last season, the Canucks cruised to the Northwest Division title by recording a record of 54-19-9 (117 points) and capturing the President’s Cup, which is given to the NHL organization with the best regular season record. In the postseason, Vancouver defeated the Chicago Blackhawks, Nashville Predators and San Jose Sharks to win the Western Conference and head to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Since becoming a member of National Hockey League in 1970, Vancouver has advanced to the Stanley Cup finals on three occasions, the first time against the New York Islanders in 1982, next to the New York Rangers in 1994, and most recently last season to the Boston Bruins.
“We are pleased to announce this partnership with the Kalamazoo Wings,” said Canucks President and General Manager Mike Gillis. “We are committed to providing a winning environment for our players and feel that Kalamazoo shares this philosophy. We are confident that in both Kalamazoo and Chicago, our players will have tremendous opportunities to further their development on and off the ice.”
Success also found the K-Wings a year ago, who captured their second North Division in as many years in the ECHL. Kalamazoo would go on to defeat the Florida Everblades, Reading Royals and Wheeling Nailers to capture their first-ever Eastern Conference crown.