LOVELAND, CO – Less than two days after the team announced the promotion of Aaron Schneekloth to head coach and former Eagles great Ryan Tobler as assistant coach, the Colorado Eagles made their second major announcement of the week on Wednesday.
The Colorado Avalanche and Colorado Eagles announced the affiliation at a press conference at the Eagles’ facility. The Loveland Reporter-Herald and BSN Denver report the affiliation agreement is for four years.
The Avalanche announced Tuesday they formally broke off their affiliation with the Fort Wayne Komets with one year remaining. The two teams were paired together for the past two seasons, with the Komets reaching the Western Conference Finals this season. In a news release, the Komets and Avalanche said the decision to dissolve the affiliation was mutual. Komets brass said the team was looking for more flexibility in the roster. Prospects Troy Bourke, Mason Geertsen, Spencer Martin, and Roman Will also logged extensive time with the Komets last season and could be mainstays with the Eagles this season.
The Eagles were without an affiliation last season and won the West Division title, but lost in the first round of the Kelly Cup playoffs for the fifth straight season.
“We are thrilled to finalize a partnership with the organization that truly put the sport of hockey on the map in the state of Colorado,” said Eagles GM and President Chris Stewart. “We feel that this will be a very advantageous partnership for the Eagles, the Avalanche, and the fans of this great sport throughout the state of Colorado. We want to be part of helping the Avalanche continue to thrive in Colorado and we know that the Avs can help us to win our first Kelly Cup.”
“We are looking forward to the start of this new relationship with the Eagles. We feel this will be the right environment for some of our prospects to play,” said Avalanche Executive Vice President and General Manager Joe Sakic.
From the Eagles, players would move to the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL, which is a two-hour, five minute flight away.
With today’s announcement by the Colorado Eagles, the Komets are the only team in the ECHL without an affiliation for the coming season.