The Washington Capitals ended an 8 year affiliation with the South Carolina Stingrays on Monday when they announced they've agreed to a new ECHL affiliation with the Reading Royals.
"We are very pleased to announce our new ECHL affiliation with the Reading Royals," said Vice President and General Manager George McPhee. "The Royals are a first-class organization where our prospects will be playing in an environment that will help them develop to their ultimate potential. We feel the proximity to both Washington and our AHL affiliate in Hershey will be beneficial to all three clubs. We would like to thank the South Carolina Stingrays and their fans for their support over the last eight seasons."
The geography seems to be a big part of the move for the Capitals. It will be easier to move prospects from Reading to Hershey than from Charleston to Hershey.
"We thank the Washington Capitals for a great eight-year affiliation," said Stingrays President Rob Concannon. "The Capitals are a first-class organization and we wish them the very best in the future. Head Coach Spencer Carbery and I are working hard exploring options for the Stingrays."
Over their 8 year partnership, the Stingrays reached the playoffs 7 times. The team also saw several of their former players move on and earn spots on the Capitals roster. Goalies Braden Holtby and Michael Neuvirth have each played big roles in Washington the last couple of seasons. The Caps have also sent several contracted players down to South Carolina over the years including Phillip Grubauer, Maxime Lacroix and Danick Paquette.