ARLINGTON, Va. –The Washington Capitals have renewed their affiliation agreement with the South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL for the 2009-10 season, vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today.
“We have a lot of pride in our affiliation with South Carolina, highlighted by the Stingrays’ run to the Kelly Cup this spring,” McPhee said. “It has been an outstanding proving ground for our prospects.”
Seven Capitals prospects spent some time with South Carolina in 2008-09, as the Stingrays finished 42-23-6 and won the Kelly Cup as champions of the ECHL. Goaltender Michal Neuvirth
played for South Carolina, Hershey (American Hockey League) and Washington last season. Neuvirth started the season with the Stingrays and earned a spot in the ECHL All-Star Game before being called up to Hershey in December. He was called up to Washington in February and went 2-1-0 with a 3.00 goals-against average before returning to Hershey, where he was the MVP of the Calder Cup playoffs.
Nine players who have played for South Carolina are currently under contract with Washington: Sean Collins, Stefan Della Rovere, Viktor Dovgan, Josh Godfrey, Andrew Gordon, Patrick McNeill
, Neuvirth, Steve Pinizzotto and Kyle Wilson. Of those, Collins, Gordon and Neuvirth have all appeared at the NHL level with the Capitals.
“We are very excited to be affiliated with the Capitals again next season,” said South Carolina head coach Cail MacLean. “It’s a great situation when you can work with an NHL team that believes in the value of development at the AA level.”