Evansville IceMen Reach NHL Affiliation DealPosted: Updated:
The Evansville IceMen have announced a National Hockey League affiliation agreement. The deal with the Ottawa Senators also involves the Binghamton Senators of the American Hockey League. September 10, 2014
EVANSVILLE, Ind. - On Tuesday afternoon, The Ottawa Senators announced their affiliation with the Evansville IceMen presented by Coors Light. The IceMen will partner with the Senators for the next two seasons (2014-15, 2015-16).
As the Senators premiere AA affiliate, the IceMen will develop players with the aspirations of making it to the NHL club. In addition to access to the team's talent pool, the Senators will also send conditioning coaches to the IceMen to help groom their team into future NHL players. Ottawa has also renewed its agreement with its primary AAA affiliate, the Binghamton Senators of the American Hockey League.
For IceMen Head Coach, Dwight Mullins, being a part of the Senators farm system is nothing new. Mullins helmed Ottawa's ECHL affiliate, the Elmira Jackals last season.
"I just think it's a real exciting piece of our program," said Head Coach, Dwight Mullins. "I've had a working relationship with Ottawa over the past couple of years and I know that they're a first class organization. Working with them will help us accomplish our goals here in Evansville and ensure progress for the entire Ottawa franchise."
Before their partnership with the IceMen, the Senators were affiliated with the Elmira Jackals for the last six seasons. With talent from the Senators franchise on their roster, the Jackals made the playoffs five of the past six years.
"Having strong affiliates is a vital part of building a great feeder system to the National Hockey League," said Bryan Murray, Ottawa Senators general manager. "This agreement with Evansville provides a terrific avenue for the growth and development of our players who are working to get their shot at the National Hockey League."
"We are very happy to begin this relationship with the IceMen," said Randy Lee, the Senators' assistant general manager. "From the first moment we met with the Evansville group, we were impressed by the professionalism of their entire organization. We place great importance on the development of our players and know that this management group, along with the fantastic facility, will be a great step up for the players in our organization.
One thing the Senators promised is an increased presence in the city of Evansville. In addition to sending player development representatives, conditioning coaches, and nutritionists, both teams hope the actual Senators can make a trip to the Ford Center.
"I told them I wanted to do an exhibition game with the Senators and maybe the Blues, maybe the Predators, or the Blackhawks at the Ford Center," said IceMen owner, Ron Geary. "We're going to try and get that worked out for late September of 2015. They have a willingness to make that happen."
Both teams believe this partnership will be mutually beneficial as they prepare for the upcoming season. The Senators begin their 2014-15 campaign with a trip to Nashville on October 9th, while the IceMen open up their year by hosting the Gwinnett Gladiators on October 18th.
Get your season tickets now to watch every exciting minute of Evansville IceMen hockey during the 2014-15 season. Four game packs are also on sale and start at just $56. To learn more about becoming a season ticket holder, please call an IceMen Account Executive at (812) 421-GOAL (4625) or go to www.evansvilleicemen.com.
Source: The Evansville IceMen