The Carolina Hurricanes announced today they have reached an affiliate agreement with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits to become their new ECHL affiliate. The agreement will last through the 2019-20 season.
The Hurricanes’ previous ECHL affiliate, the Florida Everblades, reached a new agreement with the Nashville Predators to become their affiliate starting this upcoming season. The Everblades, owned by former Hurricanes majority owner Peter Karmanos, were the Hurricanes’ affiliate for 21 seasons. The Hurricanes now have all three teams within the franchise in both North Carolina and South Carolina. Don Waddell says in a press release from the team that the team moving locally will add “marketing synergy in the Carolinas.”
The Swamp Rabbits will play their 10th season as team starting in October. They played as an independent club in the ECHL last season. They have qualified for the Kelly Cup Playoffs in five of their nine seasons as a franchise.
Below is the press release from the Hurricanes:
CANES REACH AFFILIATION AGREEMENT WITH GREENVILLE SWAMP RABBITS
South Carolina-based team will serve as Hurricanes’ ECHL affiliate
Don Waddell, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the Hurricanes have reached an affiliation agreement with the ECHL’s Greenville Swamp Rabbits through the 2019-20 season.
“We are excited to begin a new ECHL partnership with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits,” said Waddell. “The affiliation makes competitive and geographic sense for us, and we look forward to working with Greenville to develop our prospects.”
”This a landmark day for our franchise,” said Swamp Rabbits President and CEO Steve Donner. “A year ago, we set out on a goal to find a regional NHL partner to build a relationship with who is committed to development at the AHL and the ECHL level. In partnering with the Hurricanes, we have found that partner for player development with a huge added bonus of marketing synergy in the Carolinas.”
The Greenville Swamp Rabbits are based in Greenville, S.C., located approximately 100 miles southwest of Charlotte. The Swamp Rabbits have played in Greenville since the 2010-11 season and have qualified for the ECHL playoffs in five of their nine seasons. Greenville won the South Division title during the 2010-11 season and earned the top seed in the Eastern Conference in the 2011 Kelly Cup Playoffs.