CHARLOTTE, N.C. – For fans of the Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes, months of speculation and debate around current and future affiliations were put to rest on Thursday. The two different player development affiliations were announced on Thursday.
The Hurricanes have signed a three-year deal with the Chicago Wolves, who will be working with their fifth NHL team since an affiliation ended with the Atlanta Thrashers at the end of the 2010-11 season.
“We are proud to be affiliated with such a historically and financially successful American Hockey League franchise,” said Hurricanes president and general manager Don Waddell. “I’m confident our prospects will receive first-class treatment in Chicago, while continuing to be guided by coaches, management and trainers who work closely with the parent club in Raleigh.”
Meanwhile, the Panthers have agreed to a multi-year deal with the Charlotte Checkers.
In a public statement released by the Checkers, owner Michael Kahn said the following:
“Though we had previously hoped to continue our affiliation with the Hurricanes, we are very excited to begin working with Florida. The Panthers are dedicated to developing players at the AHL level, and we are confident that this agreement will lead to success for both organizations when we are able to resume play.”
The Panthers newly-appointed general manager, Bill Zito, had this to say about the move:
“It’s an exciting day for the Panthers and Checkers organizations. Building success and establishing a strong culture at the American Hockey League level is vital to the development of our young players. The Checkers have built a winning culture, culminating in a 2019 Calder Cup Championship. We feel that with this affiliation, our prospects will be in the right environment to grow and develop into National Hockey League players.”
With this news finally official, all we can do is wait patiently for both leagues to resume play and fans to cheer for a new roster of players.
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