Washington Capitals get it right with South Carolina Stingrays

Washington Capitals (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Washington Capitals (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

The Washington Capitals have extended their ECHL affiliation agreement with the South Carolina Stingrays through the 2025 26 season. The 2023 24 season will mark the 10th consecutive season that the two clubs have been afflicted.

The Caps were also afflicted with the Stingrays from 2004 through 2012. In the 17 total seasons, 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 consecutive 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.

Brian MacLellan said in a press release from the Caps:

"“We are pleased to renew our partnership with the South Carolina Stingrays. 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.”"

Five players who appeared in games for South Carolina this season attended Capitals training camp last year: forward Bear Hughes, defensemen Martin Has and Benton Maass and goaltenders Garin Bjorklund and Clay Stevenson.

Rob Concannon, president of the South Carolina Stingrays added:

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

Hughes, Washington’s fifth round choice at 148th overall in the 2020 NHL Draft, ranked second on the Stingrays in assists with 36 and points with 59 this season.

Stevenson, who signed with the Capitals as a free agent on March 28, 2022, ranked second in the ECHL in goals against average at 2.54, seventh in save percentage at .916 and tied for fifth in shutouts with three.

Bears advance to Eastern Conference Finals. light. Hot

South Carolina just played their 30th ECHL season and have qualified for the playoffs in 27 of their 30 seasons.