The Washington Capitals have announced a re-affiliation with the South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL, replacing the void created when the Reading Royals moved on earlier this offseason. The two clubs were previously affiliated for eight seasons from 2004-12.

“The Stingrays are a great organization and they were terrific partners with us during our previous affiliation,” General Manager Brian MacLellan said in a news release. “We are looking forward to our prospects being able to grow and develop with a first-class organization.

“We would like to thank the Reading Royals and their fans for their support during the last two seasons.”

The Stingrays also announced an affiliation with the Hershey Bears, Washington’s AHL partner, reuniting the partnership that existed from 2005-12.  South Carolina went 43-23-6 last season, finishing third in the Eastern Conference behind ECHL coach of the year Spencer Carbery.

According to the news release, nine players who skated for the Capitals last season came from the ECHL. Starting goaltender Braden Holtby played for the Stingrays.

“We are extremely happy with our meetings with Washington and Mr. MacLellan and the direction all three teams are heading,” Stingrays President Rob Concannon said. “We look forward to working with and developing their young prospects.”

Reading recently announced it was signing an affiliation agreement with the Philadelphia Flyers, ending Washington’s ECHL affiliation that made the most geographical sense for the NHL team.