Colorado Avalanche, Denver Cutthroats Announce Affiliation
The Colorado Avalanche and Denver Cutthroats have come to terms on a deal that makes the first year CHL team an affiliate of the NHL organization.
Cutthroats Head Coach Derek Armstrong successfully brokered a deal over the past month that would land valued talent from Colorado’s system on the inaugural roster for the Fish.
“We’re humbled, thrilled, and excited to be a part of the Avalanche family,” said Cutthroats Head Coach Derek Armstrong in a release. “They’re a first-class organization with a rich tradition and two Stanley Cups. Our job is to support their players and hockey operations department however they need and that’s what we are here to do. We’re all looking forward to working with them.”
There is an added benefit for both teams: the Avalanche get to keep prospects close to the mothership, providing more hands-on opportunities for coaching from guys like Kirk McLean – Colorado’s goaltender consultant – and the rest of Vice-President of Player Development Craig Billington’s staff; the Cutthroats get help filling out an inaugural roster by adding some new depth.
“This agreement gives our organization the ability to develop and monitor our prospects in an efficient and effective manner,” said Billington. “We look forward to having some of our players join the Denver Cutthroats in their inaugural season.”
It is obvious that netminder and Avalanche prospect Calvin Pickard is set to take the reigns of the Lake Erie Monsters from Cedrick Desjardins, who is no longer with the Avs organization. This also leads to speculation that Finnish sensation Sami Aittokallio could also make his North American debut for the Monsters this year. This means that both Avalanche goalkeepers Kieran Millan and Kent Patterson will need a different place to play this coming season, and what better way to groom them for the system than to lock them into place down the street from the Pepsi Center, introducing them to the grind of hockey outside of the college system.
An affiliation between the two teams also quells the concept that the Cutthroats are directly competing with the Avalanche over local hockey fandom. This new relationship would strengthen the roots of the first year CHL team in Denver, bringing in more fans who want to see the future of the local NHL club while seeing entertaining hockey at an affordable price. It would also help to develop the hockey culture locally, offering more exposure to athletes and trainers and providing yet another means of easy access.
There have been no announcements as to which Avalanche prospects will be coming to Denver.
The Fish are hosting open tryouts at the Edge Ice Arena from August 10-12th. Space is limited.
The Avalanche has yet to officially announce the dates of training camp, which is speculated to be a week later than it was last year.
What do you think? Is this good for both teams? Excited to get to see some prospects regularly?