Toledo to continue Detroit affiliation for three seasons
TOLEDO, OH — The Toledo Walleye, proud affiliate of the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings and the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins, today announced a three-year extension of their affiliation agreement. The 2021-22 season will mark the 12th year of partnership between the clubs and extends the affiliation through at least the 2023-24 season.
“We’re proud to continue the relationship between the Red Wings and the Walleye. We’ve had a number of prospects for the Red Wings and Griffins who were able to jumpstart their professional careers in Toledo, and playing in front of a passionate fanbase and an organization committed to winning has been crucial in their development. Both the hockey and business staffs are among the best in all of minor-league sports and make the Walleye an ideal partner for our organization. We’re looking forward to seeing Toledo return to the ice this fall to continue their quest for a Kelly Cup Championship.”
The Walleye have served as the ECHL’s affiliate to the Red Wings since 2009 when Toledo re-entered the league. From that time, the Walleye have played in one Kelly Cup Finals (2019), captured four division championships and two regular season titles (2014-15, 2016-17), and have qualified for ECHL’s postseason in seven seasons. Detroit was previously affiliated with the ECHL's Toledo Storm from 1991-99 and 2000-07. The Storm won ECHL Championships in 1993 and 1994 and captured six division titles over their 16-season history.
“The partnership between the Walleye and Detroit and Grand Rapids is one that we look forward to continuing. The history of Red Wings hockey is unparalleled and we are excited to be a part of the future. We are humbled to be able to extend this partnership between our organizations for another three years. It’s a testament to the dedication of the Walleye coaching, support staff, and front office, as well as the great fanbase in Toledo. We look forward to continuing our pursuit of the Kelly Cup and helping develop players for the next level.”
Under the current affiliation, the Red Wings provide several NHL-contract players to the Walleye, as well as signing players to AHL/ECHL contracts who can play for either Grand Rapids or Toledo. Since 2009-10, 19 players and one coach from Toledo have gone on to the NHL, including ten for the Red Wings: Jake Chelios, Jared Coreau, Martin Frk, Kaden Fulcher, Luke Glendening, Nick Jensen, Brian Lashoff, Tom McCollum, Petr Mrazek, and Andrej Nestrasil.