Grizzlies Announce Affiliation With Islanders
Grizzlies Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Jason Christie announced at a press conference that the team has signed an affiliation agreement
with the NHL’s New York Islanders.
also serve as an affiliate for the Islanders’ AHL team in
Grizzlies are one of the top organizations in minor pro hockey,” said Islanders
General Manager Garth Snow. “The Islanders and Grizzlies have made a great pair
in the past and I’m sure we will be again. The
Utah community is outstanding and the
facilities are top-tier. We’re looking forward to working with Jason Christie
and the rest of his staff.”
excited to team up with a first-class organization in the Islanders as well as
their American Hockey League affiliate the Bridgeport Sound Tigers,” said Christie.
“It will be beneficial to our organization to once again have an affiliation.
We will look to develop players for the next level in a winning environment.”
Islanders finished this past season 40-30-12 as they qualified for the Stanley
Cup Playoffs for the fourth time in five years.
Snow made some key acquisitions this past season to get
New York back to the playoffs,” said
Christie. “The organization is committed to developing top notch players
through their minor league system as well.”
Grizzlies have been unaffiliated since joining the ECHL in 2005. Previously, in
served as an affiliate for the Phoenix Coyotes (2004-2005) and the Dallas Stars
strong ECHL affiliate is imperative to building the Islanders future. We
believe the Utah Grizzlies provide the necessary resources to develop our
prospects,” Sound Tigers President Howard Saffan said. “The Grizzlies are
a very well respected organization that will provide the stepping stone towards
the ultimate goal of winning the Stanley Cup.”
mark the second time that the Grizzlies have been affiliated with the
Islanders. Utah qualified for the playoffs four times, won two IHL Turner Cup
Championships and had an overall record of 196-107-24 for a .636 winning
percentage from 1994-1998 during four seasons as an Islanders affiliate.
organization experienced some great times as an Islanders affiliate,” said
Grizzlies CEO Kevin Bruder. “As we explored our options following this past
season, it became quickly obvious that
York was the team we wanted to move forward with as
we enter our third ECHL season.”
Islanders affiliate, the Grizzlies had 44 total players who also donned a
New York sweater during
their career. Players of note who played for the Grizzlies and the Islanders
include: Todd Bertuzzi, Claude Lapointe, Jamie McLennan, Vladimir Orszagh,
Zigmund Palffy, and Olympic goaltender Tommy Salo.
Grizzlies open the 2007-2008 season Friday, October 19 when they visit the
Phoenix RoadRunners at US Airways Center in Downtown Phoenix. The home opener
for the Grizzlies is Friday, October 26 when they welcome
Idaho to the E-Center.
Grizzlies of the ECHL, enter their third season in
America’s “Premier AA Hockey
League.” There were 23 former Utah Grizzlies players on NHL rosters at the
start of the 2006-2007 season. The Grizzlies are owned and operated by the
Elmore Sports Group and play at the E-Center of
City, which hosted hockey
during the 2002 Winter Olympics.