The Checkers have a new ECHL affiliate, as the Savannah Ghost Pirates have been brought into the organizational fold.

“We’re very excited to be working with a great group of people in an exciting new market,” said Checkers COO Tera Black. “We have been very impressed with the early success of the Ghost Pirates organization and believe it will be a great environment for player development.”

Charlotte’s NHL affiliate, the Florida Panthers, announced Monday that they have entered a multi-year affiliation agreement with the Ghost Pirates.

“We are very excited to welcome the Savannah Ghost Pirates to the Panthers organization today, extending our development pipeline through our AHL affiliate, Charlotte Checkers,” said Senior Vice President, Hockey Operations Paul Krepelka. “We want to thank and congratulate the Florida Everblades for two great seasons, each culminating in a Kelly Cup championship. We look forward to the development of our prospects in both Savannah and Charlotte.”

The Ghost Pirates joined the ECHL in the 2022-23 season as an expansion franchise and are a member of the league’s South Division. Earlier this summer Savannah announced the hiring of former Checkers player and assistant coach Jared Staal as its newest head coach.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Florida Panthers,” said Ghost Pirates owner Andy Kaufmann. “We believe they can help us maintain an exciting brand of hockey that will make Savannah proud, and we look forward to helping them continue their recent success by getting their prospects to the next level.”