It’s June 29th, and the ECHL is getting an early start to the offseason, as the Jacksonville Icemen announced on Tuesday that they are now the affiliate of the New York Rangers and Hartford Wolf Pack.
The Icemen, who signed a two-year contract, were previously affiliated with the Winnipeg Jets for four seasons. “We’re really excited about this partnership, the city here is awesome, organization, management, staff, and coaching staff is all first-class here,” said Pat Boller, who was representing the Wolf Pack and Rangers at the press conference.
New York Rangers Find A New ECHL Home
After a three-year partnership with the Maine Mariners, the New York Rangers have a new home in Florida, forming alliances with the Jacksonville Icemen. The news came less than 24 hours prior to another league change, this one with the Mariners, as they announced an agreement with the Boston Bruins on Wednesday morning.
For the Rangers, this is going to make things a little more difficult for them, as the franchise, more than likely, will have to fly guys between the AHL and ECHL. On the other side, Jacksonville has been a team that is looking to improve, not only on the ice, but off the ice as well. The club is currently working to build a new arena, which they committed to investing more than $20 million into. It’s expected that doors will open in 2022, which will move the Icemen to their new home from VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.
With a new arena, meaning numerous amenities, it was among the main reasons why the Rangers partnered with them. Before the Icemen start a new era, they are expected to host the league’s All-Star weekend in January. “We are excited to partner with one of the NHL’s most iconic franchises as we continue to move forward to bringing the Kelly Cup to Jacksonville,” said Andy Kaufmann, CEO of the Icemen. “We are confident the New York Rangers and the Hartford Wolf Pack will be great partners.”