Steelheads extend affiliation with Dallas

Boise, Idaho – The
Idaho Steelheads announced Tuesday that the organization has extended its developmental affiliation agreement with the NHL’s Dallas Stars for the 2013-14 season.

Idaho (ECHL) and Texas (AHL) will remain the primary development affiliates of the NHL’s Stars, the fourth straight season the trio of teams has worked together.

This will be the 10th season – ninth in a row – that the Stars organization has partnered with the Steelheads. Idaho was affiliated with the Phoenix Coyotes for one season in 2004-05 but the team has spent the rest of its ECHL history working with the Stars, making it one of the longest continuous affiliations in the ECHL. Wheeling (Pittsburgh, 1998) and Florida (Carolina, 1998) pre-date Idaho’s uninterrupted time with Dallas, which began in 2005.

“We’re happy to announce our continued affiliation with the Dallas Stars,” Idaho Steelheads President Eric Trapp said. “The partnership that we’ve built over the past decade has been beneficial to both of us and we’re glad to see it continue.”

Future NHL’ers Richard Bachman, Dan Ellis, Aaron Gagnon, B.J. Crombeen, Richard Clune and Zenon Konopka, among others, all spent time in Idaho as part of its affiliation with the Stars. Both of Idaho’s Kelly Cup Playoffs MVPs (Ellis and Steve Silverthorn) were property of the Stars organization.

Leading scorer (Austin Smith) and team MVP (Josh Robinson) were among eight players assigned to Idaho by the Stars organization this past season. And, proving the affiliation worked both ways, Justin Dowling was signed out of Idaho by Texas of the American Hockey League and finished third on the team in goals (16) despite appearing in just 38 games with the Stars.