I had heard rumblings that there may be a switch in ECHL affiliate for the organization and today the team announced that they were switching from Tulsa to Jacksonville.
True North Sports + Entertainment and the Winnipeg Jets Hockey Club, along with their American Hockey League affiliate, the Manitoba Moose, are pleased to announce a partnership with the Jacksonville IceMen as their new ECHL affiliate for the upcoming 2017-18 season.
“We are pleased to embark on our partnership with the Jacksonville IceMen,” said Craig Heisinger, Senior Vice President & Director of Hockey Operations/Assistant General Manager of the Winnipeg Jets. “The commitment the IceMen ownership has to winning on and off the ice has been unquestioned. We have enjoyed a long and successful relationship with their Head Coach Jason Christie and look forward to him continuing to coach our prospects, as well as add to his ECHL record as the winningest coach in ECHL history.”
The Jacksonville IceMen announced they were awarded an ECHL membership in February 2017, beginning with the 2017-18 season. The IceMen begin their 72 game season at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena on Saturday, October 14 against the Orlando Solar Bears.
Jason Christie, who was recently announced as Jacksonville’s first head coach, has long-standing ties to the Jets organization, working with the organization in Ontario and Tulsa. The winningest coach in ECHL history, Christie holds a 547-349-111 record in 14 seasons. Last season, when Christie was coach of the Tulsa Oilers, nine players played for both the Oilers and Moose. That group included Manitoba’s third leading scorer, Dan DeSalvo, and goaltender Jamie Phillips, who was named to the ECHL All-Star game.
“We are excited to launch our team with the Winnipeg organization,” said Bob Ohrablo, President of the Jacksonville IceMen. “In addition to a strong commitment to development, the Winnipeg organization has successful ties to our Vice President of Hockey Operations/Head Coach Jason Christie, who has been integral in player development for both the Jets and Moose in the past while accumulating the winningest coaching record in ECHL history.”