Thunder Renew Affiliation with Islanders
The Thunder will once again be a part of the four-time Stanley Cup Champion New York Islanders organization for the 2014-15 season.
Stockton, Calif. –
Stockton, Calif. –The Stockton Thunder are pleased to announce the team has renewed its affiliation agreement with the NHL’s New York Islanders and AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
“We are thrilled to once again have the Stockton Thunder as our organization’s ECHL affiliate,” Islanders General Manager Garth Snow said. “The Thunder do a great job of developing players from the ECHL, to the AHL, and eventually the New York Islanders.”
“The Islanders were a great partner last season,” Thunder Team President Brian Sandy said. “On the ice, they provided a steady stream of talent that provided depth to our team. In the community, they gave the Thunder the flexibility to create the ‘Rough & Ready Islanders’ brand, which was and still is very popular. We look forward to continuing and growing our relationship.”
The 2014-15 season marks the second straight year that the Thunder will be affiliated with the New York Islanders and Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Four Islanders prospects suited up for the Thunder last year including former third round picks Andrey Pedan, Kirill Kabanov and Jason Clark along with former sixth round pick Alan Quine.
All four of those players played in Bridgeport last season along with 10 other players on the Thunder’s season ending roster. Riley Wetmore, Mathieu Gagnon, Jeremy Langlois, Ben Rosen, Adam Brace, Sean Escobedo, Marc Cantin, Parker Milner, and the Thunder’s own Joey Martin and Andrew Clark all suited up for the Islander’s AHL affiliate.
The Islanders were founded in 1972 and rose to prominence in the early 1980’s when they became the first American-based NHL franchise to win four consecutive Stanley Cups.
Players like Mike Bossy, Clark Gillies, Pat LaFontaine, Denis Potvin, Billy Smith and Bryan Trottier along with General Manager Bill Torrey and Head Coach Al Arbour make up the group of eight former Islanders who are enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, Ontario.
Thunder Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Rich Kromm played parts of seven seasons with the Islanders from 1985 to 1993. Coach Kromm played 183 games with the team, finishing his Islanders career with 27 goals, 42 assists (69 points) and a +10 rating.
Last season, the Islanders suited up five players that have spent time in the ECHL, including Colin McDonald who played a handful of games for the Thunder during the 2008-09 season. Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano began his coaching career in the ECHL as an assistant before becoming the head coach of the ECHL’s Knoxville Cherokees and Pee Dee Pride from 1996 to 2001.
Capuano is entering his fifth season with the Islanders but has been a part of the organization since 2005 as an assistant coach with the Islanders and as an assistant and head coach with the Sound Tigers.
The Thunder and Islanders also received publicity for last year’s ECHLs Hockey Heritage Weekend event in Anchorage, Alaska. The Thunder wore special jerseys inspired by the teams’ affiliation agreement with the Islanders. For three games only, the Thunder became the Rough & Ready Islanders, a nod both to the affiliation and to the Stockton community.
Port City Marketing Solutions designed the “Rough & Ready” logo in conjunction with the New York Islanders and the Stockton Thunder.