11 June 2008

Sabres pick up Pirates as their AHL affiliate

Jun 10, 2008, 1:59 PM EDT
The Portland Pirates announced today a new, long-term affiliation agreement with the Buffalo Sabres effective with the 2008-2009 AHL season.

“We are excited to begin our AHL affiliation with the Portland Pirates and the city of Portland,” said Buffalo Sabres Managing Partner Larry Quinn. “I am looking forward to working with Lyman Bullard, Brian Petrovek and Brian Williams, and the entire Pirates organization. I have been impressed with their professionalism from day one and am excited to build our new relationship both personally and professionally.”

Buffalo becomes the third NHL affiliate in Pirates history. During its five-year affiliation with the Washington Capitals (2000-2005), the Pirates compiled a .535 regular-season winning percentage and made the playoffs three out of the five seasons. During their three-year affiliation with the Anaheim Ducks (2005-2008), the Pirates compiled a .563 regular-season winning percentage and made two Calder Cup playoff appearances, losing in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals in both the 2005-06 and 2007-08 seasons. During that time, the Pirates averaged close to 5,000 fans per game and attendance grew by over 15 percent. With their NHL affiliate closer geographically, Portland hopes that its fans will invest in the success of the Sabres and the rivalry between the Boston/Providence Bruins will intensify. Pirates fans will be able to watch the Sabres play divisional opponent Boston six times during the NHL’s regular season, giving fans a closer look at their new NHL affiliate.

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