Did you know the Flyers had an ECHL affiliate last year?
Yes? Congrats -- you know some basically meaningless information.
No? Don't feel bad -- you didn't miss anything.
That affiliate in 2009-10, the Kalamazoo Wings, only housed two players from the Flyers organization on its roster last year -- David Sloane and Jeremy Duchesne, who played a combined 29 games with the K-Wings. Meanwhile, other Flyers prospects in the ECHL like Michael Teslak and Chris Zarb played for other teams.
Long story short: ECHL affiliates don't really matter all that much. So the news yesterday that the Flyers have a new affiliate in that league and the fact that it somehow found its way to the front page of philly.com, shows how slow news can be in hockey this time of the year.
But, nevertheless, the Flyers do have a new ECHL partner, and they're strange bedfellows to an extent. The Greenville (SC) Road Warriors will team up with the orange and black next season, but they're also the ECHL affiliate of the New York Rangers. That's right: Flyers and Rangers prospects, shooting for the Kelly Cup together in harmony.
The Road Warriors are a new team in the ECHL this season. The franchise is the longest running in the league, however, formerly known as the Johnstown Chiefs. Yes, that Johnstown, and yes, those Chiefs -- the team that inspired the movie Slap Shot. In 22 ECHL seasons, the Chiefs never won a division, conference or championship title.
Hockey has been played in Greenville in the recent past. The Grrrowl (yes, three R's) played in the ECHL from 1998 to 2006. They won the Kelly Cup in 2001-02.