The Nashville Predators extended their affiliation agreement with the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League through the 2016-17 season, the team announced Thursday.
"Our organization has been philosophically committed to an affiliation in which the road to Nashville goes through Milwaukee," general manager David Poile said in a statement. "Our current roster supports this philosophy. The Milwaukee Admirals have cultivated a winning tradition, as evidenced by their 12 consecutive trips to the playoffs -- including a Calder Cup Championship in 2004 and another appearance in the Calder Cup Finals in 2006.
"With the Milwaukee organization working together with ours, led by Paul Fenton (Milwaukee's general manager and Nashville's assistant GM), this has been and will continue to be a partnership that rewards both teams, and most importantly, the hockey fans in both cities."
The Predators and Admirals have functioned as affiliates since Nashville's inception in 1998-99, and more than 140 players have played at least one game for both teams in the past 16 seasons. Additionally, six of Milwaukee's head or assistant coaches have graduated to the NHL level, including Predators assistant coach Lane Lambert, who manned the Admirals helm for four seasons from 2007-11, and current Columbus Blue Jackets head coach Todd Richards, who was an assistant with Milwaukee from 2002-06.
Many of Nashville's core players spent time with the Admirals, including four of their top five point-getters in 2013-14. Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, three-time Norris Trophy finalist and Predators captain Shea Weber started his pro career with Milwaukee in 2005-06.