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by Staff Writer / New York Islanders
Pensacola Ice Pilots join Bridgeport (AHL) as development teams

The Islanders have signed an affiliation agreement with the Pensacola Ice Pilots of the East Coast Hockey League. The Ice Pilots join primary affiliate the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL) as the Islanders' development teams.

"We're very proud to have this partnership with a first-class franchise like the Pensacola Ice Pilots," said Islanders general manager Garth Snow. "We will work hard with our partners in Bridgeport and Pensacola to have winning teams and properly develop young players."

The agreement will allow for the Islanders and the Sound Tigers to provide the Ice Pilots with players, and the three teams will work together in the development of future NHL and AHL players.

"We are pleased to announce our affiliation with a great organization like the New York Islanders," said Mario Forgione, Ice Pilots Governor and GM. "We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship between our two clubs."

The Premier "AA" Hockey League, the ECHL had affiliations with 25 of the 30 teams in the National Hockey League in 2005-06. There have been 303 former ECHL players who have gone on to play in the NHL after playing in the ECHL, including a record 47 who made their NHL debut in 2005-06. Since 2000-01, 158 former ECHL players have made their NHL debut.

The Pensacola Ice Pilots' 11th season in the ECHL begins in mid-October with a three game road-trip through Ohio and Pennsylvania to face the Cincinnati Cyclones, the Johnstown Chiefs and the Reading Royals. The Ice Pilots face off on home ice for the first time on Friday, Oct. 27 when they host the Texas Wildcatters at The Hanger at the Pensacola Civic Center.

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