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K-Wings sign affiliation agreement with Vancouver

Monday, July 10th
K-Wings sign affiliation agreement with Vancouver

KALAMAZOO, Mich. – The Kalamazoo Wings announced that the club has reached an affiliation agreement with the National Hockey League’s Vancouver Canucks and American Hockey League’s Abbotsford Canucks for the 2023-24 season.

“Securing a full-time ECHL affiliation is something we have wanted to do for our players and the Abbotsford Canucks,” said Patrik Allvin, Vancouver Canucks General Manager. “Giving our guys every opportunity to grow, improve and succeed on the ice is extremely important to the hockey club. Having this agreement with Kalamazoo gives our team, and our development staff, another touchpoint in the long hard journey to becoming a pro hockey player.”

The agreement marks the fourth time in franchise history the K-Wings have aligned with the Canucks. Kalamazoo and Vancouver first partnered from 1984 thru 1987, again from 2011 thru 2015, and most recently from 2017 thru 2021. 

“The K-Wings are excited to be working once again with the Vancouver Canucks and their AHL affiliate the Abbotsford Canucks,” said Joel Martin, Kalamazoo Wings Director of Hockey Operations and Head Coach. “We’re thankful for the opportunity and belief that Ryan Johnson (Abbotsford Canucks General Manager and the Vancouver Canucks Assistant to the General Manager), and the entire Canucks organization, have in us. Most importantly, we look forward to providing their young prospects with everything they need to develop.” 

Notable players to ascend to the Canucks via previous affiliation between the two clubs include Darren Archibald, Alex Friesen, Alexandre Grenier, Evan McEnen and Yann Saivé.

“The goal for us is to try and develop players at all levels and having a direct pipeline to the ECHL is extremely important,” Johnson said. “From day one we have talked about how we want to approach the game, our professionalism, our culture and using all available resources. Teaming up with Joel Martin and his staff in Kalamazoo is another key building block in our player development process and will only help make our organization stronger.”

Throughout the K-Wings' 49-year history, the team has been affiliated with the Detroit Red Wings (1974-1987), Philadelphia Flyers (1984-1987; 2009-2010), Vancouver Canucks (1984-1987; 2011-2015; 2017-2021), 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), Tampa Bay Lightning (2016-2017), and Columbus Blue Jackets (2014-2016; 2021-2023).

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