“This a landmark day for our franchise. A year ago, we set out on a goal to find a regional NHL partner to build a relationship with who is committed to development at the AHL and the ECHL level,” said Swamp Rabbits President and CEO Steve Donner. “In partnering with the Hurricanes, we have found that partner for player development with a huge added bonus of marketing synergy in the Carolinas.”
One season ago, the Swamp Rabbits and ECHL rookie head coach Kevin Kerr were a team without an affiliation home after the New York Rangers moved from Greenville to Maine. The end result was Greenville finishing the 2018-19 season tied with Allen for the worst record in the league. Kerr looks to turn those fortunes around in 2019-20.
“This partnership with the Hurricanes is a great opportunity for both organizations to grow together. We’re looking forward to building on the Hurricanes’ success. Last year was a rebuilding year for our organization. This affiliation with Carolina is the perfect next step and a key piece towards becoming a top team in the South Division, and the ECHL.”
Earlier this spring, the Hurricanes and Florida Everblades ended their two-plus decade relationship, buoyed in large part because of Peter Karmanos’ ownership of both clubs. On May 24, the Everblades announced a new affiliation with the Nashville Predators, setting the stage for the new partnership to be announced.
With the new affiliation, the Swamp Rabbits will be paired with the defending Calder Cup Champion Charlotte Checkers and the surging Carolina Hurricanes.
“We are excited to begin a new ECHL partnership with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits,” said Carolina Hurricanes President and General Manager Don Waddell. “The affiliation makes competitive and geographic sense for us, and we look forward to working with Greenville to develop our prospects.”
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