SUNRISE, Fla. -- The Florida Panthers sold their interest in
the San Antonio Rampage, a franchise that will become the AHL
affiliate of the Phoenix Coyotes.
Spurs Sports & Entertainment in San Antonio obtained full
ownership of the Rampage, who signed a multiyear affiliation deal
with the Coyotes.
"We look forward to working with the entire Coyotes
organization, one that is closer geographically to San Antonio,"
SS&E vice president Rick Pych said Thursday.
The Panthers will announce next season's affiliation agreements
at a later date.
"We've enjoyed our relationship with Spurs Sports and
Entertainment over the last three years and wish them the best,"
Panthers general manager Mike Keenan said.
The Rampage will be Phoenix's sole AHL farm team, filling a void
created when the Utah Grizzlies suspended operations and severed
their ties with the Coyotes last month. On June 14, Utah dropped
into the less expensive East Coast Hockey League.
San Antonio offers an ideal replacement, Coyotes general manager
Mike Barnett said.
"San Antonio is perfectly located to our parent team in
Phoenix," Barnett said. "It has an NHL-quality arena and the
organization has a wealth of experienced sports executives."
Barnett named Pat Conacher and Gord Dineen as the Rampage's head
coach and assistant coach, the same positions they held with Utah.
Phoenix assistant general manager Laurence Gilman will be the
Rampage's general manager.