Charlotte Checkers officially announce affiliation with NHL’s Florida Panthers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte Checkers announced on Thursday that they reached a multi-year affiliation agreement with the NHL’s Florida Panthers. It will begin with the 2020-21 season.

The Checkers will now include players, coaches and hockey staff from the Panthers' organization.

The Checkers' front-office staff will not change and home games will continue to be played at Bojangles Coliseum with no major changes to the team’s colors, uniforms or branding.

In April, it was reported that the Carolina Hurricanes were cutting ties with the Checkers and moving their AHL affiliation to the Chicago Wolves, ending a decade-long relationship.

In a news release, Panthers General Manager Bill Zito said: “It’s an exciting day for the Panthers and Checkers organizations. Building success and establishing a strong culture at the American Hockey League level is vital to the development of our young players. The Checkers have built a winning culture, culminating in a 2019 Calder Cup Championship. We feel that with this affiliation, our prospects will be in the right environment to grow and develop into National Hockey League players.”

The AHL, which in May announced the cancellation of the remainder of its 2019-20 season, set a tentative target date of Dec. 4 to start the 2020-21 season.