Seattle Kraken Will Use Charlotte Checkers as AHL Affiliate

Charlotte Checkers

The Florida Panthers announced a joint AHL agreement with the Seattle Kraken and Charlotte Checkers for the 2021-22 season.

Seattle Kraken To Use Charlotte Checkers as AHL Affiliate

This agreement between Seattle and Florida will allow both franchises to play their prospects in the AHL for Charlotte. Seattle is following in the inaugural footsteps of the Vegas Golden Knights who had shared the Chicago Wolves with the St. Louis Blues in 2017-18. The agreement is for one year as the Kraken will put their AHL team in Palm Springs, Calif.

Though they have the offseason and Draft ahead of them, Seattle has only Luke Henman under contract. A joint operation will facilitate a smoother expansion for the Kraken who won’t have to worry about filling out both an NHL and AHL team. Florida will provide the Checkers head coach while Seattle will provide an assistant coach.

Seattle General Manager Ron Francis emphasized the importance of the AHL in prospect development: “The AHL plays such a key role in the development of NHL players that this was a very important decision for the long-term success of our organization.”

Francis previously was GM of the Carolina Hurricanes from 2014-2018. It’s worth noting that the Charlotte Checkers were Carolina’s AHL affiliate under Francis’ tenure, so he has prior experience with the franchise.

Charlotte Checkers Return

The joint arrangement won’t solely be beneficial to the Kraken. The Charlotte Checkers return to the AHL after not participating in the 2020-21 AHL season due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Having the support of two NHL franchises will be incredibly beneficial to Charlotte considering the AHL’s financial losses last year.

As it stands, Seattle is set to pick second overall in the NHL draft. They will be drafting a quality player and having a stable development track in place for that player will be critical to their long term success.

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