I was taken aback last year when the Lightning decided to break away from the Pensacola Ice Pilots of the ECHL and sign an affiliation agreement with the Johnstown Chiefs.
Now the Bolts have bought into the franchise...
"They're going to be in charge of placing a lot of the players in here," Chiefs fourth-year coach Toby O'Brien said of the Lightning. "Day-in and day-out, you're going to work with the Stanley Cup champions and they want to work with you. You can't beat this. What a day for hockey. What a day for Johnstown."
I'm admittedly not versed on minor league hockey - others I used to talk to used to give me minor league updates, prospect updates and the like (but then again? These same people judged Brad Richards to be a career minor leaguer a year after he was drafted). I can't say we will be sending a ton of players to the Chiefs, nor can I say who or what.