Swamp Rabbits announce affiliation with Florida Panthers
Greenville, S.C. – The Greenville Swamp Rabbits announced an affiliation agreement with the National Hockey League’s Florida Panthers for the 2020-21 season. Greenville will also continue its affiliation with the American Hockey League's Charlotte Checkers.
“In a season already filled with change and transition, we are proud to establish an affiliation with the Florida Panthers,” said Swamp Rabbits Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations, Andrew Lord. “Having Charlotte close by as our AHL affiliate makes perfect sense geographically, it is one of the closest AHL/ECHL affiliation distance wise in the leagues. Geordie Kinnear is a great coach and Charlotte as an organization won the Calder Cup in 2019, so there are a ton of positives to this affiliation. We are keen to be a great partner and are determined to develop players to the AHL and ultimately onto the NHL.”
“We are pleased to begin our affiliation with the Swamp Rabbits,” said Gregory Campbell, Panthers Vice President of Player Personnel & Development. “This partnership is important to our organization as it provides new resources and exciting opportunities for the development of our young prospects.” The Panthers skated to a 35-26-8 record in the 2019-20 regular season and battled the New York Islanders in the Stanley Cup Playoffs Qualifying Round.
The Charlotte Checkers remain the defending Calder Cup champions after capturing their first AHL title in 2019. The Checkers went 51-17-7-1 in 2018-19 before cruising past the Providence Bruins, Hershey Bears, Toronto Marlies and Chicago Wolves in the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs. Charlotte posted a 34-22-5-0 record through 61 games in 2019-20.
“We look forward to continuing our relationship with the Swamp Rabbits. We are grateful to the Spire Hockey ownership group and President Todd Mackin for this opportunity,” said Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations Derek Wilkinson. “Greenville provides the Florida Panthers and Charlotte Checkers an ideal situation to develop our prospects. This relationship also allows us to continue our collective focus to grow the game of hockey in the Carolinas in the coming years.”
Mackin added, "Growing the game of hockey in not only the Carolinas, but the south is a big priority for the Greenville Swamp Rabbits and Spire Hockey." He continued, "Florida is a great organization with young talent on the rise, and we look forward to seeing the future Panthers of tomorrow step foot in the Upstate."