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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : sports : sports May 22, 2015


9/3/2011 11:36:00 PM
Marx Column: Sundogs' affiliation with Coyotes is a big deal

Peter Marx
The Daily Courier


PRESCOTT - The Arizona Sundogs made a big move last week, as the team signed an affiliation contract with the National Hockey League's Phoenix Coyotes.

"We are pleased to formalize this relationship with the Arizona Sundogs as we collectively continue to grow hockey in the state of Arizona," Coyotes assistant general manager Brad Treliving said. "We look forward to a strong partnership this season."

The affiliation means that the Coyotes can send players down to the CHL level, where they will develop until they're ready to move up to the American Hockey League (AHL) or NHL.

"When things don't work out at those two levels, you can get to see some guys under contract coming our way," Arizona head coach and general manager Marco Pietroniro said. "Anytime you are affiliated with an NHL prospect, it's a good thing. In the past, we've had a pretty good relationship, so it's pretty exciting."

The Sundogs were previously affiliated with the Coyotes from 2007-09.

During that time, the team won the Ray Miron President's Cup in 2008, finishing with a 39-19-6 record.

Arizona also produced some very talented players, including current Coyotes defenseman David Schlemko, who had four goals and 10 assists in 43 games during the 2010-11 NHL season.

"Schlemko is a great example of why an affiliation between the Coyotes and the Sundogs is exciting," Pietroniro said. "We were proud to have him here and we're pleased to assist the Coyotes even further in the future."

Other players who went on to play at higher levels were Tyler Redenbach (Europe), Alex Leavitt (Europe), Dusty Collins (AHL), Olivier Latendresse (AHL), Cory Urquhart (AHL) and Brent Kelly (AHL and Europe).

The Coyotes ended their affiliation with the Sundogs before the start of the 2009-10 season when its contract ended.

Although it is not clear why they did not renew their affiliation, it's rumored to be because of problems with ownership during that time.

The Sundogs instated a new, local ownership group last summer, comprised of Brad Fain, Ed Lepordo and Laura Markey.

The Coyotes went on to sign an affiliation with the East Coast Hockey League's (ECHL) Las Vegas franchise.

Only two other teams in the CHL currently have NHL affiliations: the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees (Florida Panthers) and Allen Americans (Colorado Avalanche).

The Sundogs' partnership with the Coyotes is a huge step for the team in terms of attracting more talented players and getting back to the winning ways of the past.

"When you are affiliated, you get to attract some athletes that are taking their career very seriously," Pietroniro said.

Arizona has struggled the last two seasons, but the new ownership group seems determined to turn the team into a winner.

The affiliation is just another step toward building a quality franchise, but the players still need to perform on the ice.

Maybe now, the Sundogs can start to bring in the talented players they need to compete for a championship.

The Sundogs season starts on Oct. 21.


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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, September 05, 2011
Article comment by: wow!! !

Wow.

Some people will find fault with even good things. Seems pretty obvious that with even limited money you can't buy everything.

Now I don't have inside information but some things sure seem obvious. Maybe even to you Mark, although we all doubt it.

1. Luke got and deserved the high dollars. Only one gets it. Luke or Thinnel? Go with the proven product. Missouri could not afford Thihnnel and Sirota and Nimmo. We could. Thus we have the hand me downs that Missouri could not have. I'm alright with that. As far as Robinson.... Who knows.
It would not be unusual for players to play teams against each other for a buck. You have not stated what the final offer for Robinson was from Evansville. What does seem obvious is that you are pretty anti Sundogs. You can say you don't like Marco but the reality is that your emphasis on the negative (for what ever reason) reflects upon the whole team. Fan?????? Maybe you buy some tickets.


Posted: Sunday, September 04, 2011
Article comment by: Adam Dennis

Next time do some research before you try and pass of an article as useful "information" Seriously? Odessa Jackalopes now are in the NAHL a Tier 1 Junior league in the States. Allen Americans just reached a deal with the Avalanche. JOKE!!!!

Posted: Sunday, September 04, 2011
Article comment by: Mark Sundog Fan

On 8/17/2011, the Phoenix Coyotes signed an AA affiliation agreement with the Gwinnett (Ga.) Gladiators of the ECHL. I suspect the Sundogs will be getting Gwinnett's hand-me-downs just as the Sundog's are getting the Missouri Maverick's hand-me-downs. Missouri trades Sirota and Nimmo to the Sundogs for future considerations and in the meantime, Missouri signs Sebastian Thinel (a top 5 CHL scorer) and other excellent young talented players. Shouldn't the Sundogs have signed Thinel instead? High scorer Ed McGraine turned down more money from the Sundogs to sign with another CHL team. The 2nd leading scorer in the CHL last year from Odessa, Robinson, signs with the Evansville and they were the worse team in the CHL last year. Take away Luke Erickson and the Sundogs have absolutely no offense. The only reason they made the playoffs last year was because of Erickson. Take Luke off last year's team, they win 10 games. If the Sundogs really want to make positive organizational strides, then please send Coach/GM Marco packing. Hopefully it doesn't take this team folding before ownership finally understands the real problem with the Sundogs. Also the Odessa Jackalopes have folded and are no longer in the CHL.



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