(TOLEDO, OH) – The Toledo Walleye and the Detroit Red Wings have signed a two year affiliation agreement. The new deal is through the 2013-14 season.
Toledo Walleye President and General Manager Joe Napoli, “I’m really happy to have the relationship continue through 2014 with one of the most respected franchises in the NHL. We have a long history with the Red Wings and they have been a great partner. ”
The Walleye have served as the Detroit Red Wings AA affiliate since its inaugural 2009-10 campaign. Toledo first aligned with the Red Wings in 1991 through 1999, then again from 2000-2007.
“We are proud to continue our partnership with one of the premier organizations in the ECHL,” said Ryan Martin Assistant General Manager of Hockey Administration for the Detroit Red Wings. “The Toledo Walleye is a world class organization. The City of Toledo is a great community for our players to live in and the Walleye fans are among the most passionate in hockey– they fill the Huntington Center every game and offer terrific support and create a tremendous environment for our prospects. The Walleye coaches (Head Coach Nick Vitucci and Assistant Coach Dan Watson) will continue to play an integral role in helping develop some of the Red Wings prospects and prepare them for the next step in their careers. The Red Wings are excited about our affiliation with the Toledo Walleye, and we are committed to helping Toledo build a competitive team on the ice and cultivate a winning environment.”
“I’m looking forward to this upcoming season,” said Vitucci. “The Red Wing organization is working with us to learn the ins and outs of what they do on the ice as well as practice drills. Dan and I are thrilled to be able to take what we have learned and apply it to what we’re doing here in Toledo.”
Players the Walleye have seen through the Detroit organization include:
• Willie Coetzee (9 goals, 11 assists, 20 points)
• Adam Estoclet (7g, 16a)
• Andrej Nestrasil (7g, 22a)
• Trevor Parkes (4 goals in 4 games)
• Sebastien Piche (17 g, 44a)
• Gleason Fournier (2g, 16a)
• Jordan Pearce (19 wins)
• Thomas McCollum (19 wins).
The Toledo Walleye will open the 2012-13 regular season on Saturday, October 13th at home against the Kalamazoo Wings. 2012-13 Season tickets are on sale now online at www.toledowalleye.com, or by phone at (419) 725-9255.
The Detroit Red Wings:
The Detroit Red Wings hockey club, an Original Six member of the National Hockey League and 11-time Stanley Cup Champion, was purchased by Michael and Marian Ilitch in 1982. Other Ilitch companies in the food, sports and entertainment industries include: Little Caesars Pizza, Blue Line Foodservice Distribution, Ilitch Holdings, Inc., Olympia Entertainment, Olympia Development, Little Caesars Pizza Kits Fundraising Program, Champion Foods and Uptown Entertainment. Michael Ilitch owns the Detroit Tigers. Marian Ilitch owns the MotorCity Casino Hotel. For more information, visit www.DetroitRedWings.com.
The Grand Rapids Griffins: Grand Rapids joined the American Hockey League in the summer of 2001. The Griffins became the top affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings prior to the 2002-03 season. Grand Rapids finished last season with a record of 33-32-7-4. On June 25, 2012 Jeff Blashill was named Head Coach of the Griffins after serving the previous year on the staff of Mike Babcock in Detroit.
- *The Toledo Walleye play all of their home games at the Huntington Center in downtown Toledo. The Walleye are the proud ECHL affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings.**