Vancouver, B.C. - Vancouver Canucks President and General Manager Mike Gillis announced today that the Canucks have agreed to a new East Coast Hockey League affiliate deal with the Kalamazoo Wings.
“We are pleased to announce this partnership with the Kalamazoo Wings,” said Canucks President and General Manager Mike Gillis. “We are committed to providing a winning environment for our players and feel that Kalamazoo shares this philosophy. We are confident that in both Kalamazoo and Chicago, our players will have tremendous opportunities to further their development on and off the ice.”
The K-Wings were North Division champions in 2009.10 and 2010.11 and are the reigning Eastern Conference champions in the ECHL.
"We are thrilled to be the ECHL affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks," said Paul L. Pickard, president of the K-Wings. “Both organizations were extremely close to capturing their league’s respective championships last season and we are excited to work with an organization that is as committed to winning as we are.”
The K-Wings originally played in the International Hockey League (IHL) from 1974 through 1999 before joining the United Hockey League (UHL) from 2000 to 2006. The K-Wings entered the newly re-established IHL from 2007 to 2009 before most recently joining the ECHL to start the 2009.10 season.
With reaching this agreement, it marks the ninth occasion that the K-Wings have had an NHL affiliation and the second with Vancouver, who Kalamazoo was affiliated with from 1984-87 when the K-Wings were a member of the IHL.
The K-Wings currently play in the North Division where they have finished first overall in the past two seasons. Four teams comprise the North Division including Kalamazoo, as well as the Toledo Walleye, Chicago Express and Cincinnati Cyclones.