FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Komets announced Tuesday that they have entered into an affiliation agreement for 2014-15 with the National Hockey League’s Colorado Avalanche and the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League (AHL).
“The Fort Wayne Komets are very excited about this new affiliation between the Colorado Avalanche and the Lake Erie Monsters,” Fort Wayne general manager David Franke said. “As I have stated many times, if we could find the right NHL/AHL partner, we would become affiliated again. I feel with the director of player personnel David Oliver and assistant Avalanche general manager Craig Billington, we have found the right partners. Those gentleman, along with Josh Kroenke, Joe Sakic and head coach Patrick Roy, are focused on winning and developing from within the entire organization.”
Franke also added, “This will provide our players a direct line to the AHL. There will be player movement during the season between Fort Wayne and Lake Erie. That is what the ECHL is all about, developing players so they can reach the highest level possible. The opportunity to work with David Oliver and his scouting staff will be a huge asset to the Komet organization.”
2014-15 marks the 19th season since the Avalanche began play in Denver in the NHL. The Avalanche made their Denver debut in the NHL winning the 1996 Stanley Cup Championship. Colorado also captured the 2001 Stanley Cup Championship. Colorado’s home games are played at the Pepsi Center in downtown Denver. The Avalanche will open the 2014-15 campaign at Minnesota Oct. 9., followed by the home opener Oct. 11 against the Wild.
Under the direction of team president Josh Kroenke, executive vice president of hockey operations Joe Sakic and head coach/vice president of hockey operations Patrick Roy, the Avalanche tied their franchise record with 52 wins last season en route to capturing the 2014 Central Division championship. The Avalanche became the first club since the NHL expanded to 21 teams in 1979 to go from bottom three in the NHL standings to top three in a single season.
The Lake Erie Monsters will open their eighth season in the AHL when the puck drops on 2014-15. The Monsters play their home games at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio and will be in the Midwest Division of the AHL’s Western Conference this season. The Monsters are the primary affiliate of the Avalanche and finished last season with a 32-33-11 record and 75 points.
Home opener Oct. 18– The Komets will open the 2014-15 season with a home-and-home series against the new Indy Fuel. The season opener will be held at the newly renovated Fairgrounds Coliseum in Indianapolis Friday, Oct. 17 and then the 63rd Fort Wayne home opener is slated Saturday, Oct. 18 against the Fuel at 7:30pm.
Komets to host three exhibition games– The Komets will skate three exhibition games prior to the season opener, all at home on Coliseum ice. The Evansville IceMen will visit for the first two home tune-ups Friday, Oct. 10 at 8pm and Saturday, Oct. 11 at 7:30pm. The Kalamazoo Wings will visit Monday, Oct. 13 for a 7:30pm preseason tilt. All Komet home exhibition games will be held at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.