Red Wings vice president and assistant GM Jim Nill (left) poses with Toledo's coach Nick Vitucci (center) and president/GM Joe Napoli during Monday's press release to announce the affiliation agreement between the two organizations.
TOLEDO, Ohio -- The Toledo Walleye are pleased to announce that they have reached an affiliation agreement with the Red Wings of the National Hockey League for the 2009-10 season.
Under terms of the agreement, Detroit will assign contracted players to the Walleye.
With an emphasis on player development, the Walleye will serve as the Red Wings' East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) affiliate. The Walleye will also work and develop prospects with Detroit’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Joe Napoli, Walleye president and general manager, discussed the affiliation, “We are thrilled to be affiliated with the Detroit Red Wings and Hockeytown ... 83 years of hockey and 11 Stanley Cups says it all. The Detroit Red Wings set the standards for all to follow.”
“In today’s National Hockey League, developing young players is one of the most important aspects of a successful franchise,” said Red Wings vice president and assistant general manager Jim Nill. “The affiliation with Toledo has been a key component of that process for the Red Wings and we’re very pleased to continue our alliance for another season.”
Walleye head coach and director of player personnel Nick Vitucci added, “We have been very fortunate to have a long history of working with the Detroit Red Wings and are thrilled to be able to call them an affiliate once again. The Red Wings are an organization that is very well respected by everyone in the hockey world. The opportunity to be working with and helping to develop their young prospects is very exciting.”
Toledo ECHL Affiliations Detroit Red Wings (1991-99, 2000-07, 2009-10) Chicago Blackhawks (2006-07) Nashville Predators (2002-04) San Jose Sharks (2005-06) Tampa Bay Lightning (1999-00)
The Toledo Walleye will begin the regular season on Friday, October 16 at 7 p.m. ET vs. the Florida Everblades at the Lucas County Multi-Purpose Arena. Season tickets and mini-plan packages are on sale now and group outings are being reserved. Fans can call (419) 725-WALL for more information.