The Washington Capitals made an important move in their organization Wednesday, extending their agreement with their American Hockey League affiliate, the Hershey Bears. The two year agreement will run through the 2013-2014 season. Capitals General Manager George McPhee and Hershey Bears General Manager Doug Yingst announced the deal.
McPhee talked about developing the Capitals’ prospects with Hershey. “We are excited to extend our affiliation with the Hershey Bears. The Bears are one of the most storied franchises in the AHL and we are looking forward to the continued development of our top prospects in Hershey.”
Yingst talked about the success of both teams in the Washington organization. “The combined efforts of the Capitals and the Bears have produced playoff teams each year and three championships here in Hershey since our partnership began.” He stated that some former Bears’ made an impact with the Capitals’ playoff run this year. “Washington also eliminated the defending Stanley Cup champions using several players who developed in Hershey. It is a win-win for both parties and we are thrilled to team up again.”
According to Tim Leone of the Patriot News, both Mark French and Troy Mann will be back with the coaching staff come next season.
Some former Bears’ who have played in Washington include Brooks Laich, Joel Rechlicz, Keith Aucoin, John Carlson, Karl Alzner and Braden Holtby. Hershey often leads the American Hockey League in attendance and will be playing in their 75th season next year. The Bears’ will travel to Verizon Center to faceoff against the Norfolk Admirals on December 6th next year for the Washington AHL showcase. This will be the first game Hershey plays in Washington since the 1979 season. Hershey also is hosting the Capital BlueCross Outdoor Classic January 20, 2013, next season at Hersheypark Stadium when they face their biggest rival, the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins.
The Bears’ have a few free agents they will look to re-sign including Boyd Kane and goaltender, Dany Sabourin.