directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Elmira Jackals new ECHL affiliate of the Jackets

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Sunday, October 7, 2007

Elmira Jackals new ECHL affiliate of the Jackets

In an unexpected move the Columbus Blue Jackets have dumped the Dayton Bombers as their ECHL affiliate and have teamed up with the Elmira Jackals who are making their inaugural season in the ECHL (they were part of the USHL). This is a one year agreement.

Here are some quotes from the official press release:

"We are very pleased to have the Elmira Jackals as our ECHL affiliate. The foundation of any successful franchise is the development of its young players and we think this relationship will be a very positive one for our organization," said Blue Jackets General Manager Scott Howson.
"We think the close proximity of Elmira to our AHL affiliate in Syracuse will be a tremendous benefit for both those clubs and an asset to our efforts to develop players at the minor professional level," Howson added.

Elmira and Syracuse are approximately 90 miles apart, benefiting the Blue Jackets organization with reduced travel costs and more timely transactions between their two minor league affiliates. Columbus had previously been affiliated with the Dayton (Ohio) Bombers of the ECHL.

“We are excited with the opportunity to have our ECHL affiliate in Elmira,” said Syracuse Crunch President and CEO Howard Dolgon. “The affiliation with Elmira is an opportunity to link the Twin Tiers and Central New York, allowing fans of both organizations an opportunity to follow the development of Columbus’ prospects.”

Not sure about anyone but certainly didn't see this coming. Its interesting that the organization chose to move the ECHL closer to AHL affiliate instead of staying with the in-state ECHL team and move the AHL affiliate to say Cleveland or Cincinnati.

I'm also surprised to see only a 1 year agreement signed. I suspect that if things roll smoothly that this agreement will be extended. I'm pretty sure that the Crunch affiliation was extended to the 2009 season.

I'm sure there are fans of the Dayton Bombers who are not happy with this turn of events but affiliates change all the time in pro sports.


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