Coyotes, Pirates extend affiliation

The Phoenix Coyotes announced today that they have signed a one-year affiliation extension with the Portland Pirates.

In addition, Pirates head coach Ray Edwards has added the position of general manager, and assistant coach John Slaney, equipment manager John Krouse and head trainer Mike Booi have all signed contract extensions for the 2014-15 season.

Since 2011-12, the Pirates have been the top developmental affiliate for the Coyotes. This season, five Pirates made their NHL debuts with the Coyotes and a total of 14 players played for both teams in 2013-14. During the three-year affiliation, 26 players have played for both the Coyotes and Pirates, including Coyotes standouts Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Michael Stone, Rob Klinkhammer and Andy Miele.

“We are thrilled to renew our affiliation agreement with the Phoenix Coyotes,” said Pirates chief operating officer Brad Church. “They have been a great partner for the last three seasons and we have built a strong relationship with the organization. We’re excited that the Coyotes will send their top prospects to Maine once again as we return to the Cumberland County Civic Center."

“We are very pleased to renew our partnership with the Portland Pirates,” Coyotes general manager Don Maloney said. “We are excited about playing our home games next season at the renovated Cumberland County Civic Center and are determined to put a winning team on the ice. Ray Edwards and his staff do a great job developing our prospects in Portland, one of the best hockey markets in the American Hockey League.”

In 228 games as head coach for Portland, Edwards has led the Pirates to a record of 101-100-10-17. Edwards has a lifetime head coaching record of 171-156-17-26 at the AHL level with San Antonio and Portland.

“I am looking forward to my additional responsibilities as the general manager,” Edwards said. “We want to build this team not only to provide the Coyotes with great players but also to provide the fans here in Portland with a winning team both on and off the ice.”

Slaney, a 2014 inductee into the American Hockey League Hall of Fame, will return to the Pirates for his fourth season as assistant coach. Krouse will begin his seventh season as the equipment manager for the Coyotes’ top affiliate, while Booi will return for his fourth season as the Pirates’ head trainer.