Photo via Idaho Steelheads. All rights reserved.
The Dallas Stars announced this morning that they have inked another one-year affiliation extension with the Idaho Steelheads as their go-to ECHL franchise. Having the same ECHL affiliate for what will be eleven straight seasons is quite the accomplishment, and it is also a testimony to the sturdy tendencies of front office and coaching staff in the Idaho pipeline. The extension comes as it does in typical Stars form (mid-summer, unassuming), but it also is worth watching if you are from the Oklahoma City area.
You will recall that confirmed rumors bubbled to the surface months ago about Oklahoma City nabbing an ECHL slot for the 16-17 season. Those confirmed reports came in two forms – a revival of the OKC Blazers owned by a local group, and another via the Dallas Stars, whom would be keen on an ECHL team north of the Red River.
Today’s announcement doesn’t confirm nor deny the potential for a Stars inking a deal with the city of OKC, but it sure is worth watching a year from now.
In the end my selfish tendencies have me “ALL IN” on a potential Stars affiliate residing five minutes from my front door. As a life-long Stars fan I would be delighted to see a marriage between my NHL team and my city. Chances are there are many more like me. Fingers (and toes) crossed.
The Dallas Stars announced today that the club will renew its affiliation with the ECHL’s Idaho Steelheads for the 2015-16 season.
The Steelheads have served as Dallas’ ECHL affiliate since the 2005-06 season and during the 2003-04 campaign. Idaho has reached the Kelly Cup Finals three times as an affiliate of the Dallas Stars, winning the Kelly Cup twice (2004 and 2007). The Steelheads were crowned Pacific Division champions during the 2014-15 regular season, posting a record of 48-18-2-4.
“We are extremely pleased to renew our affiliation with the Steelheads,” said Director of Hockey Operations and Texas Stars General Manager Scott White. “Head Coach Brad Ralph has done a tremendous job in Idaho, as his success in developing young players has led to the winning culture we strive to uphold at all levels of the organization. We look forward to our continued partnership with the Steelheads.”
The Texas Stars will continue to operate as Dallas’ top development affiliate in the American Hockey League.