Monsters Announce Multi-Year Affiliation with Columbus Blue Jackets
Cleveland's Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League announced today they have reached a new National Hockey League affiliation agreement with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Monsters President, Kerry Bubolz and Blue Jackets President of Hockey Operations John Davidson announced the partnership which will see the Monsters operate as the Blue Jackets top developmental affiliate. The multi-year agreement between the NHL and AHL teams' will begin with the 2015-2016 season.
"Cleveland's Lake Erie Monsters are very excited to be a part of this new affiliation partnership with the Columbus Blue Jackets," said Bubolz. "Having this AHL-NHL connection in the state of Ohio will be great for the Monsters and Blue Jackets organizations, co-partners such as Fox Sports Ohio and all of the great hockey fans in the state. We look forward to this unique kinship with the Blue Jackets hockey operations staff, coaches, players and business team, both on and off the ice in Cleveland and Columbus."
"The Blue Jackets couldn't be more excited and proud to have the Lake Erie Monsters as our American Hockey League affiliate," said Davidson. "Both organizations are committed to winning and providing a great experience for hockey fans and we believe Cleveland, whose hockey roots date to the late-1920s, is the perfect place for our young players to grow, develop and have great success. Our sport has grown tremendously throughout the state of Ohio in recent years and we believe this partnership between two great hockey markets will allow us to continue that growth."
The Monsters are owned by Dan Gilbert and Cavaliers Hockey Holdings, LLC and play their home games at Quicken Loans Arena, along with the National Basketball Association's Cleveland Cavaliers and Arena Football League's Cleveland Gladiators. The 2015-16 season will be the Monsters' ninth as a member of the American Hockey League with the club having served as the AHL affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche over the past eight seasons since the team moved to Cleveland for the start of the 2007-08 AHL season.
"We'd like to thank the entire Colorado Avalanche organization for a great partnership over the past eight seasons," said Bubolz. "In particular we'd like to thank Greg Sherman, David Oliver and Craig Billington for all of their work here in Northeast Ohio with the Monsters. In addition, we'd like to thank all of the coaches and staff that helped re-energize professional hockey in downtown Cleveland. Lastly, we'd like to thank Patrick Roy and Joe Sakic for their great support. The Avalanche are a first-class organization and we wish them all the best in the future."
John P. McConnell is the majority owner and governor of the Blue Jackets, a member of the Eastern Conference's Metropolitan Division. The team plays its home games at Nationwide Arena in downtown Columbus and the 2015-16 season will be the 15th in franchise history. For the past five years, Columbus' AHL affiliate was the Springfield (MA) Falcons. Blue Jackets Assistant General Manager Chris MacFarland and this past season's Springfield Falcons coaching staff of head coach Jared Bednar and assistant coaches Nolan Pratt and Toby Petersen will lead hockey operations efforts for the Monsters in 2015-16.
With the Monsters and Blue Jackets home rinks separated by only a two hour drive down Interstate 71 and with the Monsters practice facility (IceLand USA) in Strongsville, OH less than two hours from Columbus, this new partnership will truly have an "All For Ohio" flavor. Additionally, with the city of Columbus being an important cross-promotional market for the Monsters and Cavaliers and the city of Cleveland being an equally important market for the Blue Jackets, the "Buckeye" spirit will be in full blossom as part of this partnership.
Make sure you are at The Q for all of the action as the Monsters will open their ninth season in Cleveland and first under their affiliation with the Blue Jackets on FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16th at 7:00 p.m. SINGLE GAME TICKETS FOR THIS HISTORIC 2015-16 HOME OPENER ARE ON SALE NOW and start at only $10 per ticket.
Other 2015-16 guaranteed Monsters games at The Q for the 2015-16 season are also ON SALE NOW and include: Friday, November 13, 2015; Friday, November 27, 2015; Friday, January 22, 2016; Saturday, January 30, 2016 and Friday, February 5, 2016. The remaining 2015-16 Monsters and AHL schedule will be announced later in the summer.
2015-16 Full Season Monsters Hockey Club memberships (starting at just $9 per seat), partial season, group ticket packages are also ON SALE NOW. All tickets can be purchased by visiting LakeErieMonsters.com, calling (216) 420-0000, visiting The Q Box Office or any Northern Ohio Discount Drug Mart.