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Three AHL clubs announce new affiliations

Three American Hockey League franchises on Friday announced new, multi-year affiliations with new National Hockey League partners to begin in the 2015-16 season.

The Springfield Falcons have signed a multi-year affiliation agreement with the Arizona Coyotes.

"We are very pleased to partner with the Springfield Falcons," said Coyotes general manager Don Maloney. "Springfield is one of the best hockey markets in the AHL and a great environment to develop our top prospects. We’re looking forward to a great relationship with the Falcons."

"We are looking forward to starting this partnership with the Arizona Coyotes," said Falcons president Sarah Pompea. "The Falcons are dedicated to serving the Greater Springfield community both on and off the ice and we are thrilled about a long-term partnership with an organization that supports our commitment to this city."

The Falcons and Coyotes were previously affiliated from 1994 to 2004.

The Lake Erie Monsters have reached an agreement with the Columbus Blue Jackets to serve as the organization’s AHL affiliate.

“The Blue Jackets couldn’t be more excited and proud to have the Lake Erie Monsters as our American Hockey League affiliate,” said Blue Jackets president of hockey operations John Davidson. “Both organizations are committed to winning and providing a great experience for hockey fans and we believe Cleveland, whose hockey roots date to the late-1920s, is the perfect place for our young players to grow, develop and have great success. Our sport has grown tremendously throughout the state of Ohio in recent years and we believe this partnership between two great hockey markets will allow us to continue that growth.”

The San Antonio Rampage and Colorado Avalanche announced a five-year affiliation agreement beginning in 2015-16.

"Under the leadership of two terrific Hockey Hall of Famers in Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy, the Avalanche are committed to developing the same type of great young hockey players that have led Colorado to two Stanley Cup championships," said Rick Pych, president of Spurs Sports & Entertainment.

“We are pleased to announce this new affiliation with San Antonio,” said Avalanche executive vice president and general manager Joe Sakic. “The Rampage organization has a great reputation and we look forward to our prospects developing in such an environment.”

The Portland Pirates and Florida Panthers had previously announced their new affilation on March 18.