Augusta is Lightning's ECHL affiliate
From the team's announcement:
The Lightning entered into a one-year affiliation agreement with the Augusta Lynx of the ECHL, it was announced today by Lightning vice president of hockey operations Brian Lawton. Augusta will serve as the Lightning’s primary ECHL affiliate starting with the 2008-09 season.
Norfolk Admirals general manager Mike Butters, Augusta general manager Dan Troutman and owners Jan and Robert Burch made the announcement at a 1 p.m. news conference today in Augusta. The Lightning organization will provide the Lynx with players under NHL and AHL contracts. Tampa Bay will also play a role in selecting the coaching staff.
“We are extremely pleased to welcome the Augusta Lynx to the Lightning organization,” Lawton said. “The Lynx and their management team are committed to success and it shows by them making the playoffs in six of their 10 seasons in operation. We feel that due to the organization’s desire to win, and because of its proximity to Tampa and our AHL affiliate in Norfolk, there really is not a better option for us in the ECHL. We look forward to our prospects playing an important role in bringing the Kelly Cup to Augusta.”
“We are thrilled to be a part of the Lightning organization, and we look forward to working together in order to win championships,” Troutman said. “With the aggressive moves their new ownership have pursued since purchasing the team, we feel Tampa Bay’s commitment and passion to winning is a great asset to our club. Our goal as a club is to bring the Kelly Cup to Augusta, and an affiliation with an organization with as much success as the Lightning have had brings us closer to that goal. We look forward to helping young players refine their skills on their road to the NHL.”
Tampa Bay previously had secondary affiliations with Mississippi, Pensacola, Johnstown, Toledo, Chesapeake, Nashville and Knoxville of the ECHL. Tampa Bay is entering the second year of its affiliation with the Norfolk Admirals, who serve as the Lightning’s top minor league affiliate.
Based in Augusta, Georgia, the Lynx were founded in 1998. The team played as the Raleigh (NC) IceCaps from 1991-98. The team posted a 32-35-5 record last season as an affiliate of the Anaheim Ducks and qualified for the postseason for the third consecutive year. They were eliminated by the South Carolina Stingrays in the first round after five games of a best-of-five series. Augusta has posted a 332-320-50-14 record in franchise history and has made the playoffs in six of their 10 seasons in Augusta.