Earlier today, the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League announced an affiliation agreement with the Reading Royals of the ECHL, ending an eight-year affiliation between the Capitals and Stingrays.
Click here to read the full press release from the Capitals.
“We would like to thank the South Carolina Stingrays and their fans for their support over the last eight seasons,” said Capitals General Manager George McPhee in the release.
The move was made strictly based on geography. Reading is just over an hour away from the Capitals’ AHL affiliate, the Hershey Bears and almost three hours away from Washington D.C.
“We weren’t surprised,” said Stingrays President Rob Concannon in a meeting with the media this afternoon. “We have been talking with them the past couple of months and we were prepared.”
Rob admitted during the meeting that he and Stingrays Head Coach/Director of Hockey Operations Spencer Carbery have been talking to 2-3 other NHL teams trying to work out an affiliation agreement.
Over the years, the Stingrays have had many Capitals-contracted players on their roster with goaltenders Braden Holtby, Michal Neuvirth and defenseman Sean Collins seeing action with the NHL club.
Holtby and Neuvirth were both ECHL All-Stars while with South Carolina.
In addition to the Capitals, the Stingarys have been affiliated with the Toronto Maple Leafs (1993-94), Buffalo Sabres (1994-99, 2000-02) and Vancouver Canucks (1994-95).
On a personal note, I want to thank John Walton, Scott Stuccio, Sergey Kocharov, Ben Guerrero and everyone with Washington and Hershey for a great three seasons and I hope we can work together again soon.
Question of the Day: If you could pick a new NHL affiliate for the Stingrays, who would it be and why?
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