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Jets announce ECHL affiliation with Colorado Eagles

by Staff Writer / Winnipeg Jets
True North Sports & Entertainment and the Winnipeg Jets Hockey Club, along with their American Hockey League affiliate the St. John’s IceCaps, are pleased to announce a new partnership with the Colorado Eagles as their ECHL affiliate for the 2011-12 season.

“We are excited to add the Colorado Eagles as an affiliate for the upcoming season,” said Craig Heisinger, Senior Vice President & Director of Hockey Operations/Assistant General Manager of the Winnipeg Jets. "Player development is one of the most important elements for long term success for an organization and we know Colorado will provide a great opportunity for some of our young players to gain valuable experience and new skills. As the Winnipeg Jets inaugural season approaches, we really look forward to a great first-year with the Eagles organization.”

The Colorado Eagles were established in 2002 and played their first season in 2003-04. The Eagles played their first eight seasons in the Central Hockey League where they recorded the highest cumulative regular season winning percentage of any professional team in North America (.715). They have made the CHL League Finals a record breaking five times in those eight seasons, winning twice in 2005 and 2007. They have been crowned the CHL Regular Season Champions three times (2004-05, 2005-06, 2007-08) and have earned the Franchise of the Year Award twice (2004-05, 2007-08). They are currently coached by Chris Stewart and former Manitoba Moose forward Greg Pankewicz.

"We're very excited about this affiliation and about being a part of the development of outstanding young players who are on their way to the highest level of our sport," said Colorado Eagles President & General Manager Chris Stewart.  "We feel this relationship will be mutually beneficial for all parties involved.  We'll be able to help in the development of some NHL's draft choices, and the Jets and IceCaps will be able to send their prospects to a professional environment."

Along with great on-ice success, the Eagles have sold out every game they have ever played on home ice. They hold the minor pro-hockey record for consecutive sell-outs at 311 games, including playoffs.

The Colorado Eagles will kick off their first season in the ECHL on October 14, 2011 against the Stockton Thunder.

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