Hockey fans know that a team is built through the draft and throughout the organization. How fast players adapt and adjust is strictly up to them due to the fact the progress they make is through hard work and determination.
However is there a problem when those players do not have a place to play out of juniors or are put in the AHL when they are not ready?
The Los Angeles Kings have had the Manchester Monarchs and Ontario Reign s their primary AHL affiliates in the past, some of you may not know that the Kings actually have had ECHL affiliations in the past. According to hockeydb.com, their ECHL affiliations go back to the 1991-92 season with the Raleigh Icecaps. Since then they have had the following ECHL affiliations: 1994-97 Knoxville Cherokees, 1995-96 Richmond Renegades, 1996-2000 Trenton Titans, 2001-08 Reading Royals, 2008-2015 Ontario Reign, and the 2015-19 Manchester Monarchs. The Kings currently do not have an ECHL affiliation, and the ECHL team currently with no NHL affiliation is the Norfolk Admirals.
The question is does not having an ECHL affiliate hurt the development of the rookies and prospects? Most of the draft picks and free-agent signings for the Kings report to Ontario with the Reign or are assigned to the junior team. Would they benefit to have another team to report to if they have accomplished all they can in junior but are not yet ready for the AHL? Do the Kings make that move and sign an affiliation agreement to better their players, or do they keep the same routine and assign them to Ontario or juniors?
What do you think is best for Los Angeles and the prospects coming through the organization? Let me hear what you think and why you would or would not sign this agreement.
Source: hockeydb.com Photo: ontarioreign.com