Oilers announce affiliates for 2006-07

Edmonton Oilers assistant general manager Scott Howson announced on Friday that the team has reached affiliation agreements with five American Hockey League teams for the 2006-07 season.

The Oilers will continue their affiliations with both the Hamilton Bulldogs and the Iowa Stars, while also having one-year player loan agreements with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, the Grand Rapids Griffins and the Milwaukee Admirals.

Howson stated that the Oilers “are pleased to be able to accomplish affiliations with these quality AHL organizations and look forward to activating our own AHL franchise for the 2007-08 season.”

Milwaukee, the AHL affiliate of the Nashville Predators, advanced to the 2006 Calder Cup Finals before falling in six games to the Hershey Bears, while Grand Rapids, the primary affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings, was eliminated in the Western Conference final by the Admirals. The Oilers have worked with Grand Rapids in the past, having assigned Nate DiCasmirro to the Griffins in 2005-06.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is the primary affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

This will be the 25th season in which the Oilers have been associated with the AHL. Edmonton’s first AHL affiliate was the Moncton Alpines in 1982-83. The AHL, entering its 71st season of operation in 2006-07, has 27 franchises and serves as the top development league for all 30 NHL teams.