The Tampa Bay Lightning announced Thursday they've entered into a one-year affiliation agreement with the Brampton Beast of the Central Hockey League. The Beast join the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League and the Florida Everblades of the ECHL as Tampa Bay affiliates.
"We take our developmental system very seriously," Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said in a statement. "The Beast organization has all the ingredients to be a successful hockey franchise, including operating in a strong hockey market. Owner Gregg Rosen, president Cary Kaplan and the rest of their staff have a long history in hockey and are fully capable of building a winning foundation both on and off the ice in the city of Brampton."
The Beast are set to begin their inaugural season at the Powerade Centre, a 5,000-seat arena in Brampton, located northwest of Toronto. As the only Canadian member in the league, the Beast will join nine CHL teams in the United States.
Mark DeSantis will be Brampton's first coach, and Brent Hughes is the assistant.
The Lightning previously held a CHL affiliation with the Colorado Eagles during the 2009-10 season.