The Ducks announced today that they have signed an affiliation agreement with the Bakersfield Condors of the ECHL. As part of the agreement, the Ducks will send prospects to Bakersfield beginning with the 2008-09 ECHL regular season.
“We are very excited to be entering into a formal affiliation agreement with an organization that is held in such high regard in professional hockey,” said Ducks Executive Vice President/General Manager Brian Burke. “The Bakersfield Condors have a track record of success both on and off the ice and this agreement will only help further the growth of hockey in California.”
The Bakersfield Condors joined the ECHL in 2003 after playing the previous five seasons in the West Coast Hockey League (WCHL). During their 10-year history in the ECHL and the WCHL, the Condors have attracted over two million fans to Rabobank Arena, including 200,000-plus in each of the last four seasons. Bakersfield posted a 26-37-2-7 record during the 2007-08 regular season and ranked fifth among ECHL teams in average attendance (5,628). The Condors, who will begin their first official affiliation with an NHL club in 2008-09, have enjoyed four consecutive trips to the Kelly Cup Playoffs.
“This is an exciting moment in the history of this organization,” said Condors President Matthew Riley. “Not only to be able to secure an affiliation, but secure one with a first-class franchise like the Ducks, fellow Californians and an organization that shares the same philosophies that we have. It’s a banner day in Condorstown.”
The Condors have graduated four players to the NHL since the 2003-04 season, including goaltenders Danny Taylor (Kings) and Yutaka Fukufuji (Kings), and right wings Garret Stroheim (Capitals) and Connor James (Kings, Penguins).
Bakersfield’s hockey history dates back almost 68 years and has seen teams compete in professional and semi-pro leagues such as the California Ice Hockey Association (Bakersfield Oilers), Southern California Hockey League (Bakersfield Kernels), Pacific Southwest Hockey League (Oilers), WCHL (Bakersfield Fog; Condors) and ECHL (Condors). The Condors have been heavily involved in the local community since their inception, having donated nearly $3 million to various area charities.
The Condors begin the 2008-09 ECHL regular season on Saturday, October 18 when they host the Ontario Reign at Rabobank Arena.
SOURCE: Anaheim Ducks Website