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Photo: John Saraya

Blue Jackets, Monsters extend affiliation agreement

The Columbus Blue Jackets and Cleveland Monsters announced today a multi-year affiliation agreement extension of their current National Hockey League and American Hockey League affiliation partnership.

The Monsters have been the Blue Jackets’ AHL affiliate since the 2015-16 season, which culminated with the club capturing the 2016 Calder Cup championship.

During the 2018-19 campaign, the Monsters compiled a 37-29-8-2 record for 84 points and qualified for the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs for the second time in four years as the Blue Jackets’ affiliate. In a first-round series matchup that mirrored its parent club, the Monsters upset the Tampa Bay Lightning’s AHL affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch, to reach the second round.

The Monsters finished the 2018-19 season averaging 8,901 fans per game at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, good for third in the AHL; it was the sixth consecutive season in which Cleveland ranked in the top three in the league in attendance. The club was also won the AHL’s award for outstanding fan experience in the Eastern Conference for 2018-19.

“The partnership has been very successful for both organizations and markets over the past four years and we look forward to having our top prospects continue their development in Cleveland,” said Bill Zito, Columbus Blue Jackets Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations.

Mike Ostrowski, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Monsters added, “We are thrilled to continue our affiliation with the Blue Jackets. Throughout our first four years together, we have grown the overall connection for hockey fans in the state of Ohio and we look forward to continued growth of our partnership into the future.”