Mighty Ducks align with AHL Pirates

The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim have reached a five-year affiliation agreement with the Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League.

"We are very excited to be coming to a traditional hockey market and working with the Pirates' ownership and management team," said Mighty Ducks senior vice president/interim general manager Al Coates in a release.

"Having our players in a marketplace conducive to both on- and off-ice development with a group committed to winning is sure to be healthy for continued development over the next several years."

Anaheim ended its affiliation with the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks last week. Cincinnati had been the AHL affiliate for Anaheim since the 1997-98 season, an agreement that originally began in 1995-96 when the team was known as the Baltimore Bandits.

Last year, the AHL Ducks completed their second-best season in team history, finishing 44-31-1-4 for 93 points to establish a club-record for wins in one season.

The Portland Pirates, which joined the AHL in 1993 as an affiliate of the Washington Capitals, won the Calder Cup championship in 1994 in their inaugural season and have qualified for the playoffs nine times.

"Portland will be a terrific place for our young, talented prospects to continue their development," said Mighty Ducks assistant general manager Chuck Fletcher. "We are looking forward to a tremendous partnership with the Pirates."