It didn't even take a whole month.
The teams today announced a deal, meaning the Cow Palace-based team will be a rung on the Sharks' developmental ladder, much as Fresno, Richmond, San Jose, and others are for the San Francisco Giants.
"I can't tell you how huge this is," said Curcio. He can, however, explain what it means logistically -- and what it will mean for nascent Bulls fans who show up to watch the team's first game in October.
|Pat Curcio and Sharks' Assistant General Manager Wayne Thomas grip and grin|
The ECHL -- which used to stand for East Coast Hockey League and now simply stands for "ECHL" -- is two rungs below the National Hockey League. It is the equivalent of Double-A ball's position with regards to Major League Baseball. The Bulls' new American Hockey League affiliate -- one rung above the ECHL and one below the NHL -- will be the Worcester Sharks.
San Jose's ECHL affiliate had been the Stockton Thunder; they are now affiliated with Edmonton.
In a town where fans have their choice of where to spend entertainment dollars, it figures that an official tie to the local NHL team will give the Bulls some legitimacy.
"It gives us instant credibility in the Bay Area," Curcio gushes. On Oct. 12, we'll see if it provides an instant fan base, too.