For more than ten years, the Blues have been affiliated with the ECHL's Alaska Aces. In 2001, the Blues even went so far as to hold their training camp at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.
Today, the Blues brought their secondary prospects a little closer to home, and made it easier for emergency callups to get to Peoria, by announcing an affiliation agreement with the Evansville (IN) Icemen of the ECHL.
(LINK to story at rivermen.net)
"We are very excited to begin a new relationship with Evansville as they join the ECHL," said (Blues assistant GM and Peoria GM Kevin) McDonald. "They have a first-class facility and we are thrilled to have our prospects be coached by someone who played in the NHL and has such an established coaching career. This is a great opportunity to have our players in close proximity to both the NHL and American League cities where we can monitor their progress on consistent basis."
The Icemen will be playing in the brand new Ford Center, which seats 9400 for hockey. The club is coached by ex-NHL'er Rich Kromm, and will play in the Northern Division of the ECHL's Eastern Conference, along with the Cincinnati Cyclones, Fort Wayne (IN) Komets, Kalamzoo (MI) Wings, and Toledo (OH) Walleye.
The Blues and Rivermen will share the Icemen with the Columbus Blue Jackets and AHL's Springfield Falcons, Columbus' top affiliate.