Kalamazoo Wings renew affiliation with Vancouver, sign new agreement with Columbus

ECHL-K-WINGSBy @MichaelCaples -

The Kalmazoo Wings announced yesterday that while they will continue to work with the Vancouver Canucks, they’ll be an affiliate with the Columbus Blue Jackets as well.

The ECHL club will have a dual National Hockey League affiliation after signing a two-year agreement with the Blue Jackets, marking the fifth time over the course of the last six seasons that the K-Wings will work with multiple clubs.

The agreements also work with the NHL organization’s AHL affiliates, meaning that the K-Wings will also be affiliated with the Utica Comets (Vancouver) and the Springfield Falcons (Columbus). The K-Wings will also continue to hold a relationship with the Chicago Wolves, despite no longer holding an affiliate agreement with the St. Louis Blues.

That means that for the 2014-15 season, Kalamazoo players can be called up by Vancouver, Columbus, Utica, Springfield or Chicago.

“The entire Vancouver Canucks organization has been amazing to work with and we are elated to continue our relationship,” said K-Wings Director of Hockey Operations/Head Coach Nick Bootland in a release. “With being in constant communication with Loren Henning and Pat Conarcher, our ability to develop their prospects and bolster our lineup makes this a great fit for our organization.”

In the release, new Canucks president of hockey operations Trevor Linden said his club is happy to continue working with the Michigan ECHL club.

“We are pleased to continue our partnership with the Kalamazoo Wings,” Linden said. “Kalamazoo is an organization that shares our level of commitment for success and we will continue to work together to provide our prospects with opportunities to further develop on and off the ice.”      

The 2014-15 season will mark the first time the K-Wings and the Blue Jackets hold an affiliate agreement together.

“We are excited to have the Kalamazoo Wings as our new ECHL affiliate,” said Columbus Blue Jackets Assistant General Manager Chris MacFarland, who oversees hockey operations for the club’s professional affiliates.  “We look forward to working with Head Coach Nick Bootland and the entire K-Wings organization to help us develop some of the young players in our system.”

More from the press release:

In its team history, the K-Wings have had an NHL affiliation on 12 occasions and currently are in their second term with Vancouver and first with Columbus.  Kalamazoo was affiliated with the Canucks from 1984-87 when the K-Wings were a member of the International Hockey League.

In their overall history, the K-Wings have been affiliated with the Detroit Red Wings (1974-1987), Philadelphia Flyers (1984-1987; 2009-2010), Vancouver Canucks (1984-1987; 2011-present), Minnesota North Stars (1987-1993), Dallas Stars (1993-2000), San Jose Sharks (2009-2010), New York Islanders (2010-2011), New Jersey Devils (2011-2012), St. Louis Blues (2013-2014) and Columbus Blue Jackets (2014-present).

Season and flexi-plan tickets for the upcoming 2014-2015 season of K-Wings hockey are currently on sale at the K-Wings front office. Fans can purchase their tickets during regular business hours by calling a K-Wings Ticket Representative at (269) 743-6011.

The 41st season of K-Wings hockey will commence on Friday, October 17th at the First Arena in Elmira, New York against the Elmira Jackals. Kalamazoo will begin the home portion of their schedule a week later. On Friday, October 24th the K-Wings will host the Fort Wayne Komets at Wings Stadium during the 11th Annual Orange Ice Game. Fans are encouraged to dress in costumes and participate in Halloween festivities.