The Ducks announced today that they have signed a multi-year affiliation agreement with Iowa of the American Hockey League (AHL).
“We are thrilled to be affiliating with the Schlegel family in a great hockey market such as Des Moines,” said Ducks Executive Vice President/General Manager Brian Burke. “The Ducks are very excited to have an opportunity to work with an ownership and management team that’s as committed to winning as we are. We would like to thank the Portland Pirates and their fans for their tremendous support over the last three years.”
The Ducks spent three seasons affiliated with the Portland Pirates of the AHL, beginning in 2005-06. As an Anaheim affiliate, Portland posted an overall record of 135-76-13-16 for 299 points in 480 games (.623 winning percentage). The Pirates also made deep runs in the Calder Cup Playoffs, advancing to Game 7 of the AHL Eastern Conference Finals in two of the last three years. Since the start of the 2006 postseason, the Ducks and their AHL affiliate have combined to win 10 playoff rounds, more than any other NHL organization in hockey (NHL/AHL).
Over the last three years, 18 players have graduated from the Ducks’ AHL affiliate to make their NHL debuts with Anaheim. Those players include: Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Kent Huskins, Ryan Carter, Bobby Ryan, Drew Miller, Petteri Wirtanen, Andrew Ebbett, Dustin Penner, Ryan Shannon, Shane O’Brien, Aaron Rome, Trevor Gillies, Curtis Glencross, Zenon Konopka, Tim Brent, Bjorn Melin and Michael Wall.
The Iowa Stars, purchased by Bob and Kirby Schlegel in October 2005, made their AHL debut as an affiliate of the Dallas Stars in 2005-06 and qualified for the Calder Cup Playoffs in each of their first two seasons. As Iowa’s lone professional hockey team, they have attracted over 550,000 fans to Wells Fargo Arena since joining the AHL.
In addition to the AHL, Des Moines is home to the Des Moines Buccaneers of the United States Hockey League (USHL) and two Midwest High School Hockey League (MHSHL) teams: the Oak Leafs and Capitals. Iowa has been active in the community since its AHL debut through team appearances, the creation of new youth hockey leagues and charitable events that have raised more than $100,000.
Iowa is scheduled to announce its team name, logo and colors in July.