SUNRISE, Fla. - Florida Panthers General Manager Bill Zito announced today that the club has entered into a multi-year affiliation agreement with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits of the ECHL. The Swamp Rabbits will serve as the ECHL affiliate for the Panthers as well as its American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers.
"We are pleased to begin our affiliation with the Swamp Rabbits," said Gregory Campbell, Panthers Vice President of Player Personnel & Development. "This partnership is important to our organization as it provides new resources and exciting opportunities for the development of our young prospects."
The Swamp Rabbits are based in Greenville, S.C., and have qualified for the postseason in five of their 10 seasons. In the 2013-14 season, Greenville reached the ECHL Eastern Conference Finals.
Founded in 1987 as the Johnstown Chiefs, one of the ECHL's founding teams, the franchise relocated to the Palmetto State in 2010 as the Greenville Road Warriors before rebranding as the Swamp Rabbits in 2015. The club plays its home games at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena.
The 2020-21 ECHL regular season is expected to begin on Dec. 11, when the Swamp Rabbits will face their intrastate rivals the South Carolina Stingrays. Their home opener will take place on Dec. 18 against the Florida Everblades.
The Panthers entered a multi-year AHL affiliation agreement with the Checkers on Sept. 10, 2020.
The ECHL is the leading professional developmental league for the American Hockey League and the National Hockey League. The league began in 1988-89 with five teams in three states and now spans coast-to-coast, with 26 teams playing in 21 states and provinces. There have been more than 650 former ECHL players who have gone on to play in the NHL after playing in the ECHL.
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