The NHL’s Florida Panthers and ECHL’s Greenville Swamp Rabbits today announced an affiliation agreement. As the Panthers’ AHL affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers will continue their affiliation with Greenville that was in place when both teams were members of the Carolina Hurricanes organization last season.
“We look forward to continuing our relationship with the Swamp Rabbits,” said Derek Wilkinson, the Checkers’ senior vice president of hockey operations. “We are grateful to the Spire Hockey ownership group and President Todd Mackin for this opportunity. Greenville provides the Florida Panthers and Charlotte Checkers an ideal situation to develop our prospects. This relationship also allows us to continue our collective focus to grow the game of hockey in the Carolinas in the coming years.”
“In a season already filled with change and transition, we are proud to establish an affiliation with the Florida Panthers,” said Swamp Rabbits Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Andrew Lord. “Having Charlotte close by as our AHL affiliate makes perfect sense geographically, as it is one of the closest AHL/ECHL affiliations distance wise in the leagues. Geordie Kinnear is a great coach and Charlotte as an organization won the Calder Cup in 2019, so there are a ton of positives to this affiliation. We are keen to be a great partner and are determined to develop players to the AHL and ultimately onto the NHL.”
The AHL’s target return date for the 2020-21 season is Feb. 5. Meanwhile, the Swamp Rabbits are scheduled to begin their regular season on Dec. 11.