05/27/2015 10:19 AM
Canadiens, Wild or Devils?
Brampton is about to get a little taste of the National Hockey League.
The Brampton Beast of the ECHL will make their official NHL affiliation announcement at Brampton City Hall this Thursday, May 28 at 7:00 pm in what is set to be one of the most significant sports moments in the history of the city. Doors will open at 6:00 pm with light refreshments being served, and all fans in attendance will receive an exclusive event poster.
After spending their inaugural ECHL season as an independent franchise, it was a priority for the Brampton Beast this offseason to establish an affiliation agreement with an NHL club.
These minor-league agreements allow ECHL teams to receive NHL-calibre players, making their on-ice product more competitive while helping with salary cap constraints. The Beast were excited to formalize their new affiliation earlier this month, one of the most important events in franchise history.
Rather than simply announce the affiliate outright, the Beast launched an online #WhoCouldItBEAST campaign, where new hints were released through the team’s website and social media channels that allowed fans to eliminate potential NHL teams from consideration.
After ten hints and 27 eliminations, the Beast have narrowed the list down to just three clubs; the Montreal Canadiens, Minnesota Wild and New Jersey Devils.
The Montreal Canadiens, along with the Pittsburgh Penguins, were one of two NHL teams affiliated with the ECHL’s Wheeling Nailers last season, although midway through the year the Habs also began an agreement with the Beast by sending them 2012 second-round daft pick Dalton Thrower. The Nailers have since confirmed the renewal of their longstanding agreement with the Pittsburgh Penguins for 2015-2016, the 16th consecutive year of their affiliation.
The Minnesota Wild were the only NHL team last season to be affiliated with multiple ECHL clubs, signing agreements with the Alaska Aces and the Quad City Mallards, both of which were also affiliated with Minnesota’s AHL team, the Iowa Wild.
Finally, the New Jersey Devils were the lone NHL club without an ECHL affiliate last year, as they have been without a ‘AA’ farm team since the 2013-2014 season.
Mayor Linda Jeffrey will be in attendance along with council members and hockey operations personnel from the Beast’s new affiliate. To RSVP for this free event and be a part of Brampton history, please visit www.bramptonbeast.com/rsvp.