For the first time in five years, the Florida Panthers will have a full-time ECHL affiliate as the team has officially partnered up with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits.
On Friday, Floria GM Bill Zito announced that Florida would team up with Greenville as its ECHL team.
The Swamp Rabbits, which have made the ECHL playoffs in five of their 10 seasons, will also be affiliated with Florida’s AHL team the Charlotte Checkers.
Zito said the agreement with Greenville was for multiple years. It is not known whether the ECHL will have a season in 2020-21.
“This partnership is important to our organization as it provides new resources and exciting opportunities for the development of our young prospects,’’ said Gregory Campbell, Florida’s new VP of player personnel & development.
The Panthers have not had a full ECHL affiliation since last teaming up with the Cincinnati Cyclones from 2010-15.
Over the past few seasons, the Panthers have been loaning out players to other ECHL teams for playing time.
Now, they have their own.
The Swamp Rabbits are based in Greenville, S.C., after the Johnstown Chiefs moved there in 2010.
The ECHL hopes to kick off its 2020-21 season on Dec. 11 when the Swamp Rabbits travel to play the South Carolina Stingrays.
The Swamp Rabbits home opener is scheduled for Dec. 18 against the Florida Everblades.