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by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes

RALEIGH, NC (December 18, 2000) – Jim Rutherford, CEO and General Manager of the Carolina Hurricanes, announced today the team has agreed to a multi-year deal to send its minor league prospects to the American Hockey League’s Lowell Lock Monsters starting with the 2001-2002 season.

For the past two seasons, Carolina’s top minor league affiliate was the International Hockey League’s Cincinnati Cyclones. Prior to that, the Hurricanes’ affiliations were in the AHL. Their last AHL affiliation ran from 1997-99 with the Beast of New Haven, a team the Hurricanes shared with the Florida Panthers. Next season, 23 of the 30 NHL teams will have minor league affiliations in the AHL.

“We’re looking forward to moving back into the AHL,” Rutherford said. “We’ve had a very good relationship with the Cincinnati organization over the past two seasons. But we’re very comfortable with the entire Lowell organization, and we are excited to be returning to the development league of choice for the majority of the NHL.”

Tom Rowe, a former player (1980-82) and scout for the Hurricanes’ organization, is the Lowell executive vice-president and general manager. The Hurricanes will provide the team, which plays in the 3-year-old Tsongas Arena, with its coaching staff, two goaltenders and 13 skaters.

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