Capitals, Bears renew partnership

The Hershey Bears announced today that the club has extended their affiliation agreement with the Washington Capitals. The announcement was made by Bears President/GM Doug Yingst.

“The combined efforts of the Capitals and the Bears have produced playoff teams each year and three championships here in Hershey since our partnership began,” Yingst said. “Washington also eliminated the defending Stanley Cup champions using several players who developed in Hershey. It is a win-win for both parties and we are thrilled to team up again.”

The affiliation between the Bears and Capitals began in 2005-06 after a nine-season partnership with the Colorado Avalanche, which also included dual affiliations with the Florida Panthers in 2001-02 and the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2003-04.

The Bears won their ninth Calder Cup championship in the first year of the affiliation with the Capitals, and later claimed back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010. The club has qualified for the playoffs in all seven seasons of the affiliation, and has reached the Calder Cup Finals in four of the seven seasons.

Several current or former Bears -– including Karl Alzner, Keith Aucoin, Jay Beagle, John Carlson, Sean Collins, John Erskine, Cody Eakin, Mike Green, Matt Hendricks, Braden Holtby, Marcus Johansson, D.J. King, Tomas Kundratek, Brooks Laich, Michal Neuvirth, Dmitry Orlov, Mathieu Perreault, Joel Rechlicz and Jeff Schultz -– skated with the Capitals in 2011-12.

Highlighting the Bears’ upcoming season is the Capital BlueCross AHL Outdoor Classic, to be played at Hersheypark Stadium against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Sunday, January 20, 2013. The Bears will also take on the Norfolk Admirals in a regular-season game at Verizon Center, home of the Capitals, on a date to be finalized in the near future.

The 2012-13 season will mark the Hershey Bears’ 75th anniversary in the American Hockey League. Season ticket plans are on sale now by calling (717) 508-BEAR, with many different flexible plans available.