Monday, February 22, 2010

New Arena Name and New Affliate Agreement for Predators

In a flurry of activity about 4:30 CST this afternoon, the Tennessean posted a letter from Ed Lang to the Sports Council asking for a vote for a name change to Bridgestone Arena from the Sommet Center. A press conference is slated for Tuesday morning at the Sommet Center.

At the same time, the Milwaukee Admirals announced that their agreement with the Preds has been extended.

Here is the release in it's entirety on the affiliation agreement...


- Preds’ top affiliate has reached playoffs in 10 of last 11 seasons, champs in 2004 -

Nashville, Tenn. (February 22, 2010) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has extended its affiliation agreement with the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League through the 2011-12 season. The agreement also has a mutual option for the 2012-13 season.

“We as an organization have always told our players that the road to Nashville runs through Milwaukee and a look at our roster illustrates this,” said Poile. “The Milwaukee Admirals have cultivated a winning tradition, earning two trips to the AHL Calder Cup Finals in the last six years, including a championship in 2004, and last season they finished the regular season tied for the most points in the American Hockey League. With a bright and trusted coach in Lane Lambert, the Milwaukee ownership group led by Harris Turer and Jon Greenberg’s front-office staff, this is the kind of environment we love having our players in.

“With the Milwaukee organization working together with our own, led by Paul Fenton [Milwaukee’s general manager and Nashville’s assistant GM] and Michael Santos [Nashville director of hockey operations], this has been and will continue to be a partnership that rewards both teams, and most importantly, the hockey fans in both cities.”

In the 11 years that the two clubs have functioned as affiliates, it has become customary for Nashville Predators to pass through Milwaukee en route to the National Hockey League. One hundred and four players have played at least one game for both teams, and Predators assistant coach Peter Horachek served as the head coach of the Admirals in 2002-03.

This season alone, forwards Triston Grant, Ben Guite, Ryan Jones, Cal O’Reilly, Mike Santorelli, Dave Scatchard, Nick Spaling, Andreas Thuresson, Colin Wilson and Peter Olvecky and defensemen Cody Franson, Teemu Laakso and Alexander Sulzer have appeared in games for both Nashville and Milwaukee.

2009 NHL All-Star Shea Weber started his pro career with Milwaukee in 2005-06, and Patric Hornqvist, Nashville’s leading scorer in 2009-10, appeared in 49 games with the Admirals last season. Other Nashville Predators that spent time developing in Milwaukee include forwards Martin Erat, Jerred Smithson, Jordin Tootoo, defensemen Dan Hamhuis, Kevin Klein and Ryan Suter and goatender Pekka Rinne.

The Admirals, who are the only team in the AHL to finish with at least 40 wins and 90 points in each of the last six seasons, are currently in third place in the AHL’s West Division with a record of 32-20-1-5. The Admirals have been Nashville’s primary developmental affiliate since the Predators’ inaugural NHL season in 1998-99. Milwaukee joined the AHL in 2001 after 24 seasons in the International Hockey League.

More later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

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