Dallas Stars sign one-year affiliation extension with Steelheads
FRISCO, Texas - The Dallas Stars announced today that the club has signed a one-year extension to its affiliate agreement with the Idaho Steelheads of the ECHL. As a Dallas Stars affiliate during the club's inaugural season of 2003-2004, the Steelheads captured the Patrick J. Kelly Cup, awarded to the ECHL champions.
"We are pleased to continue our affiliation with Idaho and we are expecting continued success for the Steelheads," Dallas Stars General Manager Doug Armstrong said. "Idaho has done an excellent job as a development affiliate for the Dallas Stars, and together with Iowa in the American Hockey league, we should continue to have a solid, coordinated partnership."
Idaho Steelheads head coach Derek Laxdal said, "The Idaho Steelheads are confident that the affiliation agreement between the Dallas Stars / Iowa Stars will continue to grow and be one of the best development programs to offer at the 'AA' level. Players signing in Boise will have the opportunity to advance to the AHL/NHL levels, as last year's Dan Hacker has already done for the upcoming season. Dallas is a respected leader in the NHL and Des Moines, Iowa has become one of the best AHL cities in the league! We look forward to more championship seasons throughout this affiliation!
Considered the premier "AA" hockey league in North America, the ECHL has affiliations with 23 of the 30 teams in the National Hockey League. Additionally, the ECHL has affiliations with 23 of the 27 teams in the American Hockey League, creating a true minor league system where players can be promoted within the given parent organization.
"With the extension of our affiliation with Idaho, we know that the Steelheads will continue to provide depth for Iowa in the upcoming season", remarked Iowa Stars Director of Hockey Operations, Scott White. "During Iowa's 2005-06 inaugural season there was no less then 10 players suited-up for both Iowa and Idaho". Those players included defensemen Brian Fahey and Mike Gabinet, and forwards D'Arcy McConvey and playoff-sparkplug, Dan Hacker."
The Idaho Steelheads play at the 5,000-seat Qwest Arena, which opened in downtown Boise in 1997. The club played host to over 178,000 fans at their home games last season, which saw the Steelheads finish with the highest point total since joining the ECHL in 2003 (94 points) and the franchise's most wins with 43.
After posting a 43-21-8 record in the regular season, Idaho reached the ECHL's Western Conference Semifinals in 2005-06 before falling in seven games to the Las Vegas Wranglers. During a one-year hiatus from their affiliation with Dallas, Idaho served as an affiliate of the NHL Phoenix Coyotes and AHL Utah Grizzlies in 2004-2005.
The Iowa Stars had an equally successful inaugural campaign in the AHL, posting a 41-31-1-7 record and reaching the Calder Cup Playoffs. The club lost in seven games to the eventual Western Conference champion Milwaukee Admirals.
For more information about the Idaho Steelheads, please visit the club's website at www.idahosteelheads.com. For information about AHL Iowa Stars, please visit the club online at www.iowastarshockey.com.
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