(Tampa Bay Lightning press release) The Tampa Bay Lightning have entered into a one-year affiliation agreement with the Florida Everblades of the ECHL today, Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced. Florida will serve as the Lightningâ€™s primary ECHL affiliate starting with the 2010-11 season. Tampa Bay will provide the Everblades with players under both NHL and AHL contracts.
â€œWe are very happy to welcome the Florida Everblades to the Lightning organization today,â€ Yzerman said. â€œThe Everblades and their management have demonstrated a strong commitment to success by guiding their team to the playoffs in each of their 12 seasons in existence. That is exactly the type of winning environment we feel our players should develop in. Couple that with their proximity to Tampa and there really isnâ€™t a better option for us. We look forward to our prospects and contracted players helping to bring the Kelly Cup to Southwest Florida.â€