The South Carolina Stingrays have renewed their affiliation agreement with the NHL’s Washington Capitals with a three-year contract extension, Capitals senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan and Stingrays president Rob Concannon and announced today.
“We are excited to extend our agreement with the South Carolina Stingrays organization,” said MacLellan. “We look forward to continuing our affiliation with a first-class and successful organization in which our prospects can develop.”
The 2020-21 season will mark the seventh consecutive year that the Stingrays and Capitals have been affiliated. The Stingrays were also affiliated with Washington from 2004 through 2012. South Carolina has qualified for the postseason in 13 of the 14 seasons the teams have been affiliated and won the Kelly Cup in 2009 as well as conference championships in 2015 and 2017.
"The Washington Capitals are a first-class organization," said Concannon. "They have been a great partner with us for a long time. We look forward to continuing to help some of their young prospects develop."
Five players who have played for South Carolina were under contract with Washington in the 2019-20 season: Braden Holtby, Tyler Lewington, Pheonix Copley, Vitek Vanecek and Kristofers Bindulis. Holtby began the 2009-10 season with the Stingrays and represented South Carolina in the ECHL All-Star Game. In 12 career games with South Carolina, Holtby was 7-2-3 with a 2.95 goals against average and a .911 save percentage.
In addition, former Stingrays goaltender and head coach Jason Fitzsimmons is part of Washington’s scouting staff as Minor League Operations/Pro Scout.
In May, the Capitals announced a four-year extension of their affiliation with the Hershey Bears, who will also continue to serve as South Carolina’s American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate.
The Stingrays are getting set for their 28th season in the ECHL in 2020-21 and named Ryan Blair as the team’s 10th head coach and director of hockey operations on Wednesday.