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Avalanche announce San Antonio as AHL affiliate

NHL.com @NHL

The Colorado Avalanche, in conjunction with the American Hockey League, announced today that the San Antonio Rampage will serve as the Avalanche’s AHL affiliate for the next five years beginning with the upcoming 2015-16 season.

“We are pleased to announce this new affiliation with San Antonio,” said Avalanche Executive Vice President/General Manager Joe Sakic. “The Rampage organization has a great reputation and we look forward to our prospects developing in such an environment.”

The Lake Erie Monsters in Cleveland have served as Colorado’s AHL affiliate for the past eight seasons dating back to 2007-08. Prior to that, the Avs split an AHL affiliate with the Carolina Hurricanes for two years, spending the 2006-07 campaign in Albany, N.Y. (Albany River Rats) and 2005-06 in Lowell, Mass. (Lowell Lock Monsters). The Cornwall Aces (Cornwall, Ontario) served as the club’s primary affiliate during the Avalanche’s inaugural season of 1995-96, followed by 10 years with the Hershey Bears in Hershey, Pa. (1996-2005).

“We would like to thank Dan Gilbert and the entire Lake Erie Monsters and Cleveland Cavaliers staff for their hard work and relationship over the last eight seasons,” continued Sakic.

Now in their 13th season, the Rampage are one of four professional sports franchises owned and operated by Spurs Sports & Entertainment, along with the San Antonio Spurs (NBA), San Antonio Stars (WNBA) and the Austin Spurs (NBA Development League). The Rampage play their games at the SS&E operated AT&T Center.

“We are excited to announce that the Colorado Avalanche will be our new NHL affiliate starting with the 2015-16 season,” said Spurs Sports & Entertainment President Rick Pych. “Under the leadership of two terrific Hockey Hall-of-Famers in Joe Sakic and [Head Coach/VP of Hockey Operations] Patrick Roy, the Avalanche are committed to developing the same type of great young hockey players that have led Colorado to two Stanley Cup championships.”

The Rampage have clinched the AHL’s West Division title this season and begin the Calder Cup Playoffs next week. The franchise is annually one the AHL’s top teams in attendance, having ranked among the top seven in the league for the last five seasons.

The Avalanche will be San Antonio’s third NHL affiliate in the club’s 13-year history. The Rampage have been the top affiliate of the Florida Panthers since the 2011-12 season and were also affiliated with the Panthers from 2002-05. San Antonio spent six years (2005-11) as the top affiliate of the Phoenix Coyotes.

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