Jim Rutherford, president and general manager for the Carolina Hurricanes, and Garen Szablewski, president and CEO of the Albany River Rats, today announced that the teams have agreed to a two-year extension of their affiliation agreement that will keep the River Rats as the primary development club for the 2006 Stanley Cup champion Hurricanes through the 2008-09 season.
"We are very pleased to extend our affiliation with a first-class organization like the Carolina Hurricanes," Szablewski said. "Jim Rutherford, Jason Karmanos (vice president and assistant GM) and the entire Hurricanes organization have been tremendous to work with. They understand that aside from having a competitive team on the ice that it is vitally important that we have a strong presence in our community and with our sponsors. The relationship with Carolina is off to a great start this season and we look forward to building on it moving forward."
"We are pleased that we will continue our affiliation with the River Rats," Rutherford said. "The city of Albany along with Walter Robb’s strong and stable ownership of the team combine to provide a good environment for our players to develop."
As with the team’s previous agreement with the River Rats, the Hurricanes are responsible for providing Albany with a full roster. For the past two seasons Carolina has split its AHL club with the Colorado Avalanche, a separate agreement that has given Colorado half of the club’s roster space for its top minor league players.
At this time, no decision has been made as to whether or not the Hurricanes will split the Albany roster with another NHL club. Colorado will be affiliated with the AHL’s new Lake Erie Monsters beginning in 2007-08.