PORTLAND, Maine -- The Portland Pirates announced today that they have reached a multi-year affiliation agreement with the Phoenix Coyotes to begin with the 2011-12 season. The announcement was made by Pirates managing owner/CEO Brian Petrovek at a press conference at the Civic Center on Monday.
“We are looking forward, with a great deal of excitement and optimism, to our new affiliation with the Phoenix Coyotes,” Petrovek said. “When Don Maloney, Brad Treliving and I began our discussions about a relationship months ago, it was clear to me from the start that our objectives and philosophies matched and that the Coyotes would deliver to our fans an entertaining, consistent and competitive team with players and coaches of strong character and work ethic in a winning environment.
“Furthermore, their genuine desire to be in Portland for the long term far exceeded any other team we considered, which I know our fans will appreciate from this day forward.”
Before teaming up with the Pirates, the Coyotes were affiliated with the San Antonio Rampage and have been operating under the direction of current Phoenix GM Don Maloney and assistant GM Brad Treliving (who will serve as the Pirates' GM) for the past four seasons.
During that span, San Antonio had a record of 154-131-14-21 in 320 regular-season games (.536 winning percentage). The Rampage’s most successful season as a Coyotes affiliate was in 2007-08, when they posted a franchise record 42 wins.
As part of the affiliation announcement, the Coyotes also announced that Ray Edwards will become the seventh head coach in Pirates franchise history. The Wasaga Beach, Ont., native sports a career AHL coaching record of 70-56-7-9 in two seasons with the Rampage.
“I am very excited about the opportunity to coach the Pirates,” said Edwards. “Portland is a great hockey city with passionate fans. We will work tirelessly to ice a team that Pirates fans will be proud of and enjoy watching for years to come.”
Phoenix becomes the fourth NHL affiliate in Pirates history. The Pirates were affiliated with the Buffalo Sabres for the past three seasons (2008-2011) and posted a 131-79-17-13 record.