Solar Bears become ECHL affiliate of Tampa Bay Lightning

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando Solar Bears have entered into a three-year affiliation agreement with the Tampa Bay Lightning of the National Hockey League, Lightning vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.

“We are extremely happy to welcome the Orlando Solar Bears into the Lightning organization today,” Yzerman said. “The Solar Bears organization has demonstrated a strong commitment to success that has paid off with numerous playoff appearances. We look forward to being a part of their future accomplishments while also developing our prospects in a world-class environment.”

“We are incredibly excited for this new partnership affiliation with the Tampa Bay Lightning,” said Alex Martins, CEO of the Orlando Magic, owners of the Solar Bears. “The Lightning is a first-class organization with tremendous values and vision and we feel very fortunate to have this opportunity to be a part of their hockey family.”

Added Dan DeVos, chairman of the Orlando Magic, “This is a great day for the Orlando Solar Bears. We couldn’t be more excited to form this partnership with a model franchise like the Tampa Bay Lightning.”

“We are thrilled to be able to announce our new affiliation with the Lightning,” Solar Bears president Chris Heller said. “This relationship will not only aid in our on-ice performance, but will also help strengthen the profile of ice hockey throughout Central Florida.”