The Philadelphia Flyers announced today that they have entered into a minor league affiliation agreement with the Greenville Road Warriors of the ECHL for the 2010-11 season, according to club General Manager Paul Holmgren.
The Road Warriors are entering their first season playing out of Greenville’s BI-LO Center. They are coached by Dean Stork, who is in his first season as a head coach after serving as an assistant coach for four seasons with the defending Kelly Cup champion Cincinnati Cyclones. Stork helped lead the Cyclones to the league championships in two of the last three seasons. Additionally, Smith served as the president and general manager of the New York Rangers from 1989 to 2000, winning a Stanley Cup in 1994.
“We are pleased to be working with Greenville for the upcoming season,” Holmgren said. “Neil Smith and Dean Stork both have a strong history of success, and we’re confident they’ll provide an environment that will help our prospects develop their potential.”
"To be affiliated with the Philadelphia Flyers and Adirondack Phantoms will greatly enhance what it means to be a member of the Greenville Road Warriors,” said Road Warriors president and general manager Neil Smith. “The Flyers are committed to winning at every level. We hope to help them with that commitment by developing their future AHL and NHL players.”
Greenville will serve as Philadelphia’s secondary affiliate for the upcoming season. Under the agreement, players under contract to the Flyers or to their American Hockey League affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms, can be assigned to The Road Warriors. Greenville replaces the Kalamazoo Wings, which served as the Flyers’ ECHL affiliate during the 2009-10 season.
The ECHL is the third-longest tenured professional hockey league behind only the National Hockey League and the American Hockey League. The ECHL began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states and has grown to be a coast-to-coast league with 20 teams in 15 states and British Columbia in 2009-10. The league officially changed its name from East Coast Hockey League to ECHL on May 19, 2003.