The Tampa Bay Lightning have entered into a one-year affiliation agreement with the Brampton Beast of the Central Hockey League (CHL), vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced Thursday.
The Beast join the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch and the ECHL’s Florida Everblades as Tampa Bay affiliates. “We take our developmental system very seriously,” Yzerman said. “The Beast organization has all the ingredients to be a successful hockey franchise, including operating in a strong hockey market.
Owner Gregg Rosen, president Cary Kaplan and the rest of their staff have a long history in hockey and are fully capable of building a winning foundation both on and off the ice in the City of Brampton.”
The Beast are a professional ice hockey team based in Brampton, Ontario. The team is set to begin its inaugural season in 2013-14 out of the Powerade Centre, a 5,000-seat arena in Brampton, located northwest of Toronto.
As the first and only Canadian member in the league, the Beast will join nine other minor-professional CHL teams in the United States.
The Beast are led by head coach Mark DeSantis and assistant coach Brent Hughes. "The Tampa Bay Lightning, with great leadership, tremendous history of success and commitment in their player development, is the ideal fit for the Brampton Beast,” Rosen said. “We are thrilled with the partnership." The Lightning previously held an affiliation with the CHL’s Colorado Eagles during the 2009-10 season.