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Ducks ink affiliate agreement with ECHL Utah

Aug 7, 2013, 9:05 PM EDT

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The Anaheim Ducks have made a change in their East Coast Hockey League affiliate arrangement, severing ties with Fort Wayne in favor of Utah.

Here’s more, from the Ducks website:

The Utah Grizzlies joined the ECHL in 2005-06 and play their home games out of the Maverik Center in West Valley City, UT, the former main ice hockey venue for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.

The ECHL Grizzlies own an all-time record of 247-254-62 in 589 career games and have made seven trips to the Kelly Cup Playoffs, including each of the last six seasons.

Head coach Tim Branham enters his first season with the Grizzlies, having been named to the position on July 8, 2013. For the last four years, Branham served as an assistant coach for the ECHL’s Reading Royals, who won their first Kelly Cup Championship in 2012-13.

“My first order of business into bringing the Grizzlies into this new era was to find an affiliate that shares in our common goal of developing players both on and off the ice and creating a winning atmosphere,” Branham told the Desert News. “(The Anaheim Ducks) stood out among the rest. They have a deep talent pool, strong management group. Through our conversations it was clear that this organization was the right choice.”

The Ducks had just a one-year agreement with Fort Wayne for the 2012-13 season, announcing in late July they’d be seeking a new arrangement.

Utah is one of the ECHL’s more successful clubs, with 13 ex-Grizzlies suiting up in the NHL last season. They’d spent the last four seasons as Calgary’s East Coast affiliate.

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