In the ECHL, having a proper AHL and NHL affiliate is a make or break for teams every single season. Behind closed doors, it is the difference in a top free agent deciding to sign between many different ECHL organizations vying for their services on the ice. Front offices spend night and day when affiliation deals end as they are much like the contract that players receive in regards to yearly terms. The Allen Americans were in that exact situation at the conclusion of the ’21-’22 ECHL season.
The Americans made history by becoming the first-ever ECHL affiliate of the Seattle Kraken in their very first season in the NHL in the offseason of 2021. It was an exciting announcement for the Americans who had been affiliated with the San Jose Sharks and Minnesota Wild in previous seasons, but unfortunately short-lived as the Kraken announced a new affiliation with the Kansas City Mavericks in July of this year, leaving the Americans on the block for a new suitor.
That was until Wednesday morning as the Americans announced their new affiliation with the Belleville Senators of the AHL and the Ottawa Senators of the NHL. With this affiliation, Americans fans can rest easy knowing that the foundation set by the new head coach and GM, Chad Costello, is that much more solidified.
The affiliation also means that the Americans have a direct route for their skaters and goalies to the next levels of their careers. Not that they didn’t have that opportunity last year but it was a much more unique situation with the Kraken sharing the AHL affiliate (Charlotte Checkers) with the Florida Panthers due to their now AHL affiliate (Coachella Valley Firebirds) not being ready to hit the ice. With that no longer being an issue and a new head coach ready to work, the relationship between the Americans and Senators group has a legitimate chance to blossom and grow into what hopefully will become a multi-year connection.
That being said, if we gain any Canadian fans down here in Texas that are looking to make the trek to Allen we will gladly treat you to Whataburger in exchange for some all-dressed chips. No questions asked.