ECHL: Seattle Or Vegas? Who Will Be The Lake Tahoe Knight Monsters NHL Affiliate

The Lake Tahoe Knight Monsters unveiled their logo and team name last week, but one thing that they didn’t announce is an NHL or AHL affiliate. For most people who see the name, the first thing you think of is the Vegas Golden Knights; however, Vegas and Savannah signed a multi-year agreement in May 2022, but it is unknown when that multi-year extension ends. Ryan Crelin, the ECHL Commissioner, was in Glens Falls last week to meet the media, and when asked about an NHL affiliation for Tahoe, he said, “I’ll let you put two and two together” However, there is another team besides the Vegas Golden Knights that would make a lot of sense for Lake Tahoe to affiliate with and that is the Seattle Kraken, so let’s breakdown why both of these NHL franchise makes sense and what my final thoughts are on the opinion. One notable mention would be the Arizona Coyotes but I don’t think they are in a place to add an ECHL team, as they are still trying to find a home for next season.

Vegas Golden Knights and Tahoe

Now, as all signs are currently pointing towards Vegas and Tahoe becoming affiliates, if this does happen, this will help Vegas in multiple ways. Vegas will have both their AHL and ECHL on the West Coast, which will make for easier movement between all three tiers; however, this is a luxury in the ECHL, where you have some teams that have some big geographical gaps between the AHL and ECHL and the biggest one that comes to mind is the Winnipeg Jets who have their AHL team in Manitoba and their ECHL team in Norfolk, VA. Now, as we all know, Vegas likes everything they have to be new, bright, and shiny, as they affiliated with the last expansion team in the ECHL, the Savannah Ghost Pirates, and that relationship, as far as I know, has gone pretty well, however, Lake Tahoe will be the new kids on the block, and it would make complete sense for them to have them as their ECHL Affiliate. The Golden Knights also had the Henderson Silver Knights as their AHL affiliate in their inaugural season; however, that made a lot of sense for both sides geographically.

This would also benefit the Ghost Pirates as they would have an opportunity to have their NHL and AHL affiliate a little closer to them as the Columbus Blue Jackets would be in the market for an ECHL affiliate, and geographically, it would make a lot of sense for both parties, as Columbus has their AHL and NHL teams only two hours apart

Seattle Kraken and Lake Tahoe

Now let’s think a little outside the box here; the Seattle Kraken and Kansas City Mavericks signed a multi-year affiliation deal, and if that’s only a two-year deal, that would have it expiring at the end of the current season, which would leave Seattle without an ECHL affiliate and to me it the Earthy/Sea vibes along with the Coachella Valley Firebirds seems to be so ironic of a fit to not at least consider the affiliation between the two teams. Like Vegas, it would help out Seattle Geographically and put both their AHL and ECHL Affiliates closer to Seattle. However, unlike Savannah and Henderson, there hasn’t been much movement between Coachella Valley and Kansas City this year, as most of the moves that have been made have included either Jack Lafontaine or Tucker Robinson, so that geographical aspect may not have as much of a factor as it does with other teams who are constantly sending guys back and forth between the AHL and ECHL.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, I believe that the Lake Tahoe Knight Monsters will become the new affiliate of the Vegas Golden Knights. It makes a lot of sense knowing how often Henderson and Vegas are exchanging players, and would make the travel for the players a lot easier, as well as cutting down on travel expenses. I mean, the word Knight is already in the name, and they did that with their AHL team as well, so that could be one of the big clues. We will just have to wait for the Summer to find out who the Lake Tahoe Knight Monsters will be affiliated with.

Armand Klisivitch

Inside The Rink ECHL Manager | Senior Editor Credentialed Reporter for the Adirondack Thunder & Worcester Railers.

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