Toronto Maple Leafs Senior Vice President and General Manager David Nonis announced Thursday that the hockey club has extended its affiliation with the Orlando Solar Bears of the ECHL. The Leafs shared the affiliation with the Minnesota Wild in 2013-14 but Toronto will now be the Solar Bears’ sole NHL affiliate for the next two seasons.
“The Leafs are extremely pleased to renew our affiliation with the Orlando Solar Bears of the ECHL,” said Nonis. “As an organization, we are confident that our future prospects will continue to develop professionally under the tutelage of Solar Bears coach Vince Williams.”
“We are excited about the opportunity to continue our affiliation with the Maple Leafs organization and look forward to a successful partnership,” said Orlando Solar Bears President/CEO Jason Siegel.
The Solar Bears compete in the South Division of the Eastern Conference of the 21-team league. Last season, the team posted a record of 43 wins, 24 losses, 2 OTL and 3 shootout losses and earned a playoff berth and second place in the division.
Orlando’s third season in the ECHL in 2014-15 will be highlighted by hosting the annual All-Star Game on January 21, 2015.
Toronto had previous affiliations with Reading, Columbia and Pensacola of the ECHL.