The Missouri Mavericks have reached an affiliation agreement with the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League for the next two seasons.
Missouri joins the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League as the Islanders primary minor league affiliates.
The Maverick's owner Lamar Hunt Jr. and representatives from the NHL made the announcement Thursday afternoon.
"Our goal is to win it all," Hunt said. "Our goal is to help each other win."
He said this is a great day for hockey in the Kansas City area.
"One of the major priorities that we identified while going through the due diligence process on the purchase of the Mavs was to strengthen our affiliation in the world of professional hockey," Hunt said. "We are excited for the players and the fans as we bring a whole new level of professional hockey to Independence Events Center, paired up with an organization that has been built through its development to become a perennial playoff contender."
The agreement marks the first time in franchise history that the Mavericks will be a part of a formal affiliation with an NHL team.
The Mavs held previous one-year agreements with the AHL Chicago Wolves during the last four seasons.
"We are excited to partner with the Missouri Mavericks as our new ECHL affiliate," Islanders general manager Garth Snow said. "The Mavericks are a highly-regarded organization with a high-end coaching staff that's capable of developing players from the ECHL, to the AHL, and eventually to the New York Islanders."
Missouri's new affiliation agreement includes integration into the Islanders scouting system, strength and conditioning programs and training camps.
"The Mavericks are thrilled to be affiliating with a first-class organization in the New York Islanders," said Brent Thiessen, general manager of the Mavericks. "We are excited to develop their prospects and work closely with the team moving forward."
The Mavericks begin their new season on the road in Anchorage, AK, for their first-ever matchup against the Alaska Aces.
They will play longtime rival, the Wichita Thunder, in a home-opener on Oct. 24 at Independence Events Center. Since their debut, the Mavs have packed in fans at the ICE, often selling out games. They didn't make the playoffs this year, which is quite unusual for the team.
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