(July 13, 2006) -- General Manager Kevin Kavanagh and the Columbia Inferno are proud to announce that the team has signed an affiliation agreement with the National Hockey League's Toronto Maple Leafs and the American Hockey League's Toronto Marlies for the 2006-2007 season.
"This is a great day for the Columbia Inferno," stated Kavanagh. "We are thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with a team so rich in hockey tradition. The Toronto Maple Leafs are committed to building a winning team, and the Inferno are pleased to be able to help develop players for them. Having an affiliation with an "Original Six" team will most certainly help us recruit top caliber players to round out our roster and regain the winning tradition here in Columbia that our fans have grown accustomed to. I would like to thank Mike Penny and Troy Mann for working diligently to make this opportunity possible."
"We are pleased to have reached an agreement with the Inferno," said Mike Penny, general manager of the American Hockey League's Toronto Marlies. "As an organization, we are confident that our future Toronto Maple Leafs prospects will accelerate their professional development in Columbia."
Inferno fans will have the opportunity to watch some of Toronto's top prospects as they prepare for the road ahead. Columbia was affiliated with the Vancouver Canucks and the Manitoba Moose for the past five seasons and announced earlier this week the decision to part ways.
"The Maple Leafs and Marlies have some great prospects that will be play an important role for us this season," commented Head Coach Troy Mann. "I am excited to have a chance to work with these players and help prepare them for the next level."