The Florida Everblades announced this week that they have reached an affiliation agreement with the Tampa Bay Lightning of the NHL. They will also will partner with the Lightning's new American Hockey League affiliate the Syracuse Crunch.
The announcement marks the third season that the Everblades will serve as the primary ECHL affiliate for the Lightning. The Lightning announced their affiliation with Syracuse (AHL) earlier this month. Tampa will continue to provide the Everblades with players under both NHL and AHL contracts.
"We are very happy to continue our partnership with the Florida Everblades," said Lightning assistant general manager Julien BriseBois. "The Everblades and their management have a strong track record of providing a winning environment for our prospects to develop and we look forward to helping them win another Kelly Cup."
The Everblades won the Kelly Cup for the first time in franchise history last month, with a roster comprised of several Tampa prospects.
"We are very pleased to renew our affiliation with the Lightning," said Everblades president and general manager Craig Brush. "The young players sent to us for development were all highly motivated, and instrumental in helping us win the Kelly Cup last season."
The Lightning were founded in the 1992, and currently compete in the NHL's Southeast Division. The team won its first Stanley Cup in the 2003-04 season.
The Everblades open their 15th anniversary season at home on Oct. 13 against the Orlando Solar Bears.