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Published: Wednesday, 8/1/2012

Walleye to remain affiliate of Detroit Red Wings


The Toledo Walleye will remain an affiliate of the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings after the organizations reached an agreement today.

Toledo has served as Detroit's AA affiliate since the Walleye's first season in 2009-10. The organizations signed a two-year extension today. The new deal is through the 2013-14 season.

The Walleye exchange players with Detroit's American Hockey League affiliate in Grand Rapids.

Detroit has sent two of its young goalie prospects to gain experience in Toledo. Thomas McCollum and Jordan Pearce have spent significant time developing in Toledo. Both young netminders have posted 19 wins while in a Walleye uniform.

Walleye general manager Joe Napoli said the Red Wings are one of the most respected franchises in the NHL.

“I’m really happy to have the relationship continue through 2014,” Napoli said. “We have a long history with the Red Wings and they have been a great partner. ”

Other players in the Wings' system that have played roles for the Walleye include: forwards Willie Coetzee (9 goals, 11 assists), and Adam Estoclet (7 G, 16 A) and defenseman Sebastien Piche (17 G, 44 A).

Toledo's ECHL team was named the Storm when the organizations first aligned in 1991.

Ryan Martin, Detroit's assistant general manager of hockey administration, called the Walleye “a world class organization.”

“We are proud to continue our partnership with one of the premier organizations in the ECHL,” Martin said. “The City of Toledo is a great community for our players to live in and the Walleye fans are among the most passionate in hockey.”

The Walleye will once again have dual affiliations with NHL clubs. Last week, Toledo extended its agreement with the Chicago Blackhawks.

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