Fear the Fin

Without an ECHL affiliate, the Sharks’ options are far and few

Photo courtesy of Sie Morley/SB Nation

On Saturday, the ECHL’s Allen Americans announced they had signed a new NHL affiliation agreement with the Minnesota Wild, ending a four-year run as the ECHL farm club for the Sharks and Barracuda.

While an AHL team’s main role is developing the NHL’s best prospects, the ECHL is meant to provide ice time for fringe AHLers and help young players rise through the pro hockey ranks. Even though many ECHL players won’t reach their NHL dreams, the success stories like Aaron Dell, Alex Burrows and James Reimer that show why the league is becoming more and more valuable.

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