|September 13, 2012 - Mike Modugno
Director of Public Relations and Broadcaster
Kalamazoo, MI- The Kalamazoo Wings, proud member of the ECHL and three-time defending North Division Champions, announced the team has renewed its agreement to be an affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Vancouver Canucks and signed an affiliation agreement with the American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves for the upcoming 2012-2013 season.
Under the affiliation arrangement, during the 2012-13 season, Vancouver and Chicago will have the ability to assign players to Kalamazoo. The agreement marks the second straight season that the Canucks entire minor league system will be concentrated in the Midwest.
"Our working relationship with Vancouver has been beneficial on and off the ice," said K-Wings General Manager Jim Burlew. “By adding the Chicago Wolves, we not only have another organization that is dedicated to winning, but we have an AHL partner that is only two hours away.”
Last season, the Canucks cruised to the Northwest Division title by recording a record of 54-19-9 (117 points) and capturing the President’s Cup, which is given to the NHL organization with the best regular season record.
Since becoming a member of National Hockey League in 1970, Vancouver has advanced to the Stanley Cup finals on three occasions, the first time against the New York Islanders in 1982, next to the New York Rangers in 1994, and most recently 2011 against the Boston Bruins.
“We are pleased to continue our partnership with the Kalamazoo Wings,” said Canucks President and General Manager Mike Gillis. “Kalamazoo is an organization that shares our level of commitment to success and we will continue to work together to provide our players opportunities to further develop themselves on and off the ice.
Entering their 19th season, the Wolves have captured four league titles: the International Hockey League's Turner Cup in 1998 and 2000, and the American Hockey League's Calder Cup in 2002 and 2008. Even more incredible, since their inception in 1994, Chicago has had no losing seasons.
Last season, with a record of 42-27-4-3 (91 points), the Wolves clinched the AHL’s Midwest Division title.
"We are pleased and honored to begin a new relationship with the Kalamazoo Wings," said Wolves General Manager Wendell Young. "We are looking forward to our players learning and developing under Kalamazoo Head Coach Nick Bootland. I also think the three-team combination of Vancouver, Chicago, and Kalamazoo will be a strong one that works in unison to benefits all three organizations.”
No strangers to success themselves, the K-Wings took home their third straight ECHL North Division title last season. Kalamazoo’s winning ways continued in the playoffs reaching their second straight Eastern Conference Finals.
After having duel-NHL affiliations the past three ECHL seasons, the K-Wings have ended its affiliation with the New Jersey Devils and will only have a single NHL affiliate during the 2012-2013 campaign.
In its team history, the K-Wings have had an NHL affiliation on ten occasions and currently are in their second term with Vancouver. Kalamazoo was affiliated with the Canucks from 1984-87, when the K-Wings were a member of the International Hockey League.
In their overall history, the K-Wings have been affiliated with the Detroit Red Wings (1974-1987), Philadelphia Flyers (1984-1987; 2009-2010), Vancouver Canucks (1984-1987; 2011-present), Minnesota North Stars (1987-1993), Dallas Stars (1993-2000), San Jose Sharks (2009-2010), New York Islanders (2010-2011) and New Jersey Devils (2011-2012).
Kalamazoo will open up the home portion of its regular season on Friday, October 19th versus the Fort Wayne Komets with a 7:30 p.m. face-off at Wings Stadium.
Season tickets for the upcoming 2012-2013 season are on sale at the Wings Stadium Ticket Office. Ticket Office hours are Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
For more information regarding the K-Wings affiliation with the Vancouver Canucks and Chicago Wolves, please contact Mike Modugno, director of public relations and broadcaster at (269) 226-0384.