Stars News

ECHL Club Won 2004 and 2007 Kelly Cup Championships as Dallas’ Affiliate

FRISCO, TX – Dallas Stars General Manager Joe Nieuwendyk announced today that the club has signed a two-year extension to its affiliate agreement with the Idaho Steelheads of the ECHL through the 2010-11 season. The club won the Patrick J. Kelly Cup as ECHL champions as a development affiliate of the Dallas Stars in both 2004 and 2007.

“We are happy to continue our affiliation with Idaho and we are expecting continued success for the Steelheads,” said Nieuwendyk. “Idaho has done an excellent job as a development affiliate for the Dallas Stars, and together with the Texas Stars, our new club in the American Hockey League, we should continue to have a solid, coordinated development system.”

Considered the premier “AA” hockey league in North America, in 2008-09 the ECHL had affiliations with 24 of the 30 teams in the National Hockey League. Additionally, the ECHL also had affiliations with 25 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.

“For years Idaho has been an integral piece of the puzzle for the development of Stars prospects,” said Texas Stars General Manager Scott White. “Boise is a great hockey town and the Steelheads are contenders every season. Head Coach Derek Laxdal has done a good job developing young players and preparing them for the next level, while creating a winning atmosphere. We expect that to continue this season.”

The Idaho Steelheads play at the 5,006-seat Qwest Arena, which opened in downtown Boise in 1997, and the club played host to over 142,000 fans last season. Head Coach Derek Laxdal led Idaho to a regular season record of 44-24-4 in 2008-09, and the club entered the ECHL Playoffs as the National Conference's third-seed before falling to the Victoria Salmon Kings in the first round. It was the club’s sixth consecutive appearance in the ECHL Playoffs.

Goaltender Matt Climie and center Tom Wandell are among the recent Dallas Stars who skated with the Idaho Steelheads along their development path. Other Dallas prospects who skated for the Steelheads in 2008-09 include: Luke Gazdic, Trevor Ludwig and Tyler Shelast.

The Texas Stars begin their inaugural AHL season this October at the brand new state-of-the-art Cedar Park Center. The Texas Stars will participate in the West Division of the American Hockey League’s Western Conference starting this fall. The 2009-10 AHL season schedule is expected to be announced later in the summer. The Texas Stars are led by Head Coach Glen Gulutzan, Assistant Coach Paul Jerrard and General Manager Scott White.

--Texas Stars--
Posted on 08/07/09

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