The Washington Capitals on Thursday announced an affiliation agreement with the South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL for the 2014-15 season.
The Stingrays won the South Division regular-season title and finished third in the Eastern Conference this past season, their second as an affiliate of the Boston Bruins. South Carolina, which will enter its 22nd season in the ECHL this fall, was affiliated with the Capitals from 2004-12 and won the Kelly Cup in 2009, the same year the Hershey Bears, Washington's American Hockey League affiliate, won the Calder Cup.
The Reading Royals served as Washington's ECHL affiliate for the past two seasons.
Nine players who skated for the Capitals last season have played in the ECHL, including former Stingrays goaltenders Philipp Grubauer and Braden Holtby. Grubauer was named to the ECHL All-Rookie Team while playing for South Carolina in 2011-12, and Holtby represented the Stingrays at the 2009-10 ECHL All-Star Game.
"We are pleased to announce our ECHL affiliation with the South Carolina Stingrays," Capitals senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan said in a statement. "The Stingrays are a great organization and they were terrific partners with us during our previous affiliation. We are looking forward to our prospects being able to grow and develop with a first-class organization."