TOLEDO, Ohio – The Toledo Walleye and the Red Wings have signed a two year affiliation agreement. The new deal is through the 2013-14 season.
“I’m really happy to have the relationship continue through 2014 with one of the most respected franchises in the NHL," Walleye president and general manager Joe Napoli said. "We have a long history with the Red Wings and they have been a great partner. ”
The Walleye have served as the Red Wings' East Coast Hockey League affiliate since its inaugural 2009-10 campaign. Toledo first aligned with the Wings in 1991 through 1999, then again from 2000-2007.
“We are proud to continue our partnership with one of the premier organizations in the ECHL,” said Ryan Martin, the Red Wings' assistant general manager of hockey administration. “The Toledo Walleye is a world class organization. The city of Toledo is a great community for our players to live in and the Walleye fans are among the most passionate in hockey -- they fill the Huntington Center every game and offer terrific support and create a tremendous environment for our prospects. The Walleye coaches (head coach Nick Vitucci and assistant Dan Watson) will continue to play an integral role in helping develop some of the Red Wings prospects and prepare them for the next step in their careers. The Red Wings are excited about our affiliation with the Toledo Walleye, and we are committed to helping Toledo build a competitive team on the ice and cultivate a winning environment.”
“I’m looking forward to this upcoming season,” Vitucci said. “The Red Wing organization is working with us to learn the ins and outs of what they do on the ice as well as practice drills. Dan and I are thrilled to be able to take what we have learned and apply it to what we’re doing here in Toledo.”
Players the Walleye have seen through the Detroit organization include: Willie Coetzee, Adam Estoclet, Andrej Nestrasil, Trevor Parkes, Sebastien Piche, Gleason Fournier, Jordan Pearce, and Thomas McCollum.
The Walleye will open the 2012-13 regular season on Saturday, Oct. 13 at home against the Kalamazoo Wings. Season tickets for the upcoming season are on sale now online at toledowalleye.com, or by phone at 419-725-9255.