Capitals And Stingrays Extend Affiliation Through 2025-26 Season

The Washington Capitals announced on Thursday that they have extended their ECHL affiliation with the South Carolina Stingrays through the 2025-26 season.


ARLINGTON, Va. -The Washington Capitals and the South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL have extended their affiliation agreement through the 2025-26 season, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.

“We are pleased to renew our partnership with the South Carolina Stingrays,” said MacLellan. “For several seasons, the Stingrays have provided our prospects a winning environment in which they can develop, and we are looking forward to continuing our affiliation.”

The 2023-24 season will mark the 10th consecutive season that the Capitals and Stingrays have been affiliated. The Capitals were also affiliated with South Carolina from 2004 through 2012. In the 17 total seasons the teams have been affiliated, South Carolina has missed the playoffs just twice. The Stingrays won the Kelly Cup in 2009 – the same year that the Hershey Bears won the AHL’s Calder Cup – and have won three conference championships since 2015. This season, South Carolina finished first in the ECHL’s South Division and second in the Eastern Conference with a 45-22-4-1 record.

“The South Carolina Stingrays are excited for the opportunity to continue our long-standing partnership with the Washington Capitals and Hershey Bears,” said Rob Concannon, president of the South Carolina Stingrays. “We look forward to working with some of their prospects as they embark on their professional careers.”

Five players who appeared in games for South Carolina this season attended Capitals Training Camp in 2022: forward Bear Hughes, defensemen Martin Has and Benton Maass and goaltenders Garin Bjorklund and Clay Stevenson. Hughes, Washington’s fifth-round choice, 148th overall in the 2020 NHL Draft, ranked second on the Stingrays in assists (36) and points (59) in 2022-23. Stevenson, who signed with the Capitals as a free agent on March 28, 2022, ranked second in the ECHL in goals-against average (2.54), seventh in save percentage (.916) and tied for fifth in shutouts (3).

South Carolina played their 30th ECHL season in 2022-23 and have qualified for the playoffs in 27 of their 30 seasons. The Stingrays are three-time Kelly Cup Champions (1997, 2001, 2009), which is tied for the most championships in ECHL history, and have reached the Kelly Cup Finals a league-record six times.


About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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12 Responses to Capitals And Stingrays Extend Affiliation Through 2025-26 Season

  1. novafyre says:

    Glad to see this, the Rays, Bears, and Caps have been good for each other. If nothing else, good goalie and coach pipelines.

    With the trend of NHL teams owning their affiliates, and Monumental expanding into gaming, NBCSW, betting parlor, etc., I still wonder if Ted wouldn’t like to own his affiliates as well.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Interesting. I didn’t realize this was a trend. I need to dig into this a bit.

    • Prevent Defense says:

      Magnificent idea! Own your entire hockey operation!
      Thank you novafyre

      Remember the lovely 2004 lost NHL season? More than one billionaire offered to buy the ENTIRE National Hockey League — and Bettman had to sweat it out — for about 3.5 billion dollars USD. Lucky for Bettman the NHL owners were in his back pocket. Numerous sports leagues around the world have a whole network of teams with a single owner

      Prevent Defense with 1600 million US dollars would purchase the Caps, Stingrays, Bears and at least one KHL team

  2. Prevent Defense says:

    Bunch of articles in yesterday’s NHL internet press, speculating on potential New Home for Arizona Coyotes

    It would absolutely DELIGHT me to have AZ franchise move to another, more worthy state. Arizona was/is the ultimate Gory Bottmann boondoggle. He propped up his desert buddies best he could for 20+ years. Not it’s time to Pay the Piper. VGK in the desert is more than enough

    Many towns were mentioned. Reasonable candidates: Houston, Salt Lake City, Kansas City, Quebec City, Milwaukee

    Ludicrous: San Francisco, Sacramento, Portland, Toronto (!), Cleveland, Cincinnati, Atlanta, San Diego, Austin

    Curious what NovaCapsFans prefers. Some of us are old enough to remember the Kansas City Scouts, California Golden Seals, Cleveland Barons, and the best of all of the jilted NHL cities, Quebec Nordiques

    I was surprised that Hartford didn’t make it to any of the “possible” lists. The Whalers were viable but horribly mismanaged

    • novafyre says:

      I think a big (if not biggest) factor will be TV market. Just like the NFL, I think NHL TV money is now more important than home ticket sales.

  3. Jon Sorensen says:

    Greetings folks! Just a quick note, if you haven’t done so already, please consider subscribing to NoVa Caps posts in the “subscribe” box located in the upper right corner. Thank you!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Anyone know how long the current agreement with Hershey lasts?

  5. Jon Sorensen says:

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