Updated: Panthers’ affiliation with ECHL’s Cyclones remains unclear

After a one-year affiliation agreement ended following the 2014-15 season, the Panthers relationship with the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL appears to be in limbo. Mentions of the Panthers as being affiliates of the Cyclones have been removed from the Cyclones’ website and Twitter profile as well as the Panthers’ website. 

Updated 8/7/15

The Panthers will be unofficially using the Manchester Monarchs as their ECHL affiliate for the upcoming 2015-16 season. According to Maine Hockey Journal, Panthers assistant GM Eric Joyce has told them that the team will send their players (if/when necessary) to the Monarchs after the ECHL Board of Governors voted on July 29th to limit teams to a single affiliation. Florida Everblades President and General Manager Craig Brush told News-Press.com that the vote was done to ensure that all 28 ECHL teams had the chance to have an affiliation.

The Panthers were left without an ECHL affiliate after the Cyclones opted to renew their agreement with the Nashville Predators instead.

The Panthers and Cyclones have been affiliates since they signed an agreement exactly 5 years ago today, and it lasted three years at which point the two teams re-upped in June of 2013 for another year. Prior to the 2014-15 season, the two teams signed another one-year deal, but now both the Panthers and Cyclones have seemingly removed mentions of their previous affiliation from their social media accounts and websites suggesting they will no longer be affiliates. Prior to the end of the season, both teams had each other listed as affiliates underneath the “Team” menus on their websites, and the Cyclones Twitter profile read:

ECHL affiliate of the Nashville Predators & Florida Panthers. Brought the Kelly Cup home to @usbankarena in 2008 and 2010! For real-time scores @cyclonesgameday

After the Cyclones renewed their affiliation with the Nashville Predators on July 16th, they were asked on Twitter if they were still the ECHL affiliate of the Panthers:

The Cyclones stated the two teams had “broken up,” but went on to say “stay tuned.” It is possible that the Panthers and Cyclones could reach a new agreement as last year’s was announced on September 19th. However, the likelihood of that happening is low considering they went out of their way to remove mentions of each from their websites and Twitter accounts and considering the Cyclones said the Predators will be their “only official affiliate.”

It’s still unclear as to whether or not the Panthers plan to affiliate with another ECHL team or not considering there are 2 ECHL teams’ affiliates listed as “To Be Announced” (the Alaska Aces and the Colorado Eagles) and 2 listed as being “Independent” (the Rapid City Rush and the Wichita Thunder). Twenty-six of the 30 NHL teams currently have ECHL affiliates.

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