WHEELING, W.Va. – The Wheeling Nailers announced that they have renewed their affiliation agreement with the Montreal Canadiens of the National Hockey League and Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League for the 2013-14 season.
Wheeling enters its fourth consecutive season as the ECHL affiliate for both Montreal and Hamilton, as well as its ninth season overall with the Canadiens. Over the course of those years, seven former Nailers/Thunderbirds have made their NHL debuts with the Canadiens. In addition, a total of eight former Nailers/Thunderbirds have suited up with Montreal, including defenseman Francis Bouillon, who appeared in all 53 regular season and playoff games for the Canadiens in 2012-13.
"We are fortunate to continue our partnership with the Canadiens, said Nailers Governor Don Rigby.” "We look forward to developing their young talent here in Wheeling."
Montreal, Hamilton and Wheeling experienced a significant amount of shuffling of players between levels last season. Ten different players dressed in at least one game for both the Nailers and Bulldogs during the 2012-13 campaign, led by forward Stefan Chaput, who produced 17 points in 48 games with Hamilton, after recording nine points in 15 games with Wheeling.
“We are excited to continue our relationship with the Nailers organization, and look forward to continuing to develop some of our young prospects in Wheeling.” said Montreal Canadiens General Manager Marc Bergevin.