The San Francisco Bulls, who kick off their inaugural season at the Cow Palace in October, will serve as the ECHL affiliate of the Sharks, both organizations announced Wednesday.
The Bulls will also serve as the primary ECHL developmental team for the Worcester Sharks of the American Hockey League.
“To become affiliated with the San Jose Sharks is a goal we’ve had since we founded the franchise last year,” Bulls president and coach Pat Curcio said in a statement.
The ECHL has served as a developmental league to the NHL and AHL since its inception in 1988-89. The league will be celebrating 25 years during the Bulls’ inaugural 2012-13 season. The Bulls are part of the Western Conference of the ECHL and will play a 72-game schedule with 36 home games.
“Having our prospects develop in close proximity to our club in San Jose while playing for a first-class organization will serve them well moving forward in their professional careers,” San Jose Sharks vice president and assistant general manager Wayne Thomas said.
Vlasic inks extension: The Sharks re-signed defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic to a five-year extension reportedly worth $21 million. The 25-year-old was arguably the team’s top defenseman last season after recording four goals and 19 assists. He was also 12th in the league with 171 blocked shots.