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K-Wings; Vancouver Canucks renew affiliation

KALAMAZOO – The Kalamazoo Wings announced yesterday afternoon that it has renewed its agreement to remain as an affiliate to the Vancouver Canucks of the National Hockey League. In addition they also signed an agreement with the American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves for the upcoming season.

Both Vancouver and Chicago will be able to assign players to the K-Wings under the agreement.

“Our working relationship with Vancouver has been beneficial on and off the ice,” said K-Wings General Manager Jim Burlew in a statement released by the team. “By adding the Chicago Wolves, we not only have another organization that is dedicated to winning, but we have an AHL partner that is only two hours away.”

The agreement also marks the second consecutive year that the Canucks entire minor league system will be centered in the Midwest.

The Canucks joined the NHL in 1970 and has advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals on three occasions, most recently in 2011 against the Boston Bruins.

Last season, the Canucks won the Northwest Division title with a record of 54-19-9 and captured the President’s Cup, which is given annually to the team that has the best regular season record.

“We are pleased to continue our partnership with the Kalamazoo Wings,” said Canucks President and General Manager Mike Gillis. “Kalamazoo is an organization that shares our level of commitment to success and we will continue to work together to provide our players opportunities to further develop themselves on and off the ice.”

For their part, the Wolves captured the AHL’s Midwest Division title last season with a record of 42-27-4-3.

“We are pleased and honored to begin a new relationship with the Kalamazoo Wings,” said Wolves General Manager Wendell Young. “We are looking forward to our players learning and developing under Kalamazoo Head Coach Nick Bootland. I also think the three-team combination of Vancouver, Chicago, and Kalamazoo will be a strong one that works in unison to benefits all three organizations.”

The K-Wings also announced that they have ended their affiliation with the New Jersey Devils after just one season.

In their history, the K-Wings have been affiliated with the Detroit Red Wings (1974-1987), Philadelphia Flyers (1984-1987; 2009-2010), Vancouver Canucks (1984-1987; 2011-present), Minnesota North Stars (1987-1993), Dallas Stars (1993-2000), San Jose Sharks (2009-2010), New York Islanders (2010-2011) and New Jersey Devils (2011-2012).