Angel of the Winds Arena. (Jake Goldstein-Street / Herald file)

Angel of the Winds Arena. (Jake Goldstein-Street / Herald file)

Kraken’s new AHL affiliate set to play game in Everett

The Coachella Valley Firebirds take the ice at Angel of the Winds Arena on Oct. 28.

EVERETT — This season the Seattle Kraken’s up-and-coming players will have a home of their own, and for one night they’ll strut their stuff in Everett.

The Coachella Valley Firebirds, who are the brand new AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Kraken, debut when the season begins in October, and one of their opening games will take place at the home of the WHL’s Everett Silvertips.

The Firebirds will take on the Calgary Wranglers at Angel of the Winds Arena on Friday, Oct. 28. The regular season game is one of four home contests Coachella Valley will play in the Puget Sound region from Oct. 21-29, as the Firebirds have 20 of their first 24 games on the road while their arena in Palm Desert, California, is completed. Two of the games take place at the Kraken Community Iceplex and one at Climate Pledge Arena.

“It’s extremely exciting for players and the organization to play in the Seattle area and especially at Climate Pledge Arena,” Firebirds president Steve Fraser said on the Kraken website. “Playing at the Kraken’s world-class home arena and in Everett represents a great way to showcase our team and our players.”

This is the second straight year Angel of the Winds Arena will host a professional game. Last year the arena played host to a Kraken preseason game against the Edmonton Oilers on Oct. 1.

The AHL is essentially the Triple-A of hockey, with AHL teams being affiliated with NHL teams and the players being those who are on the cusp of playing in the NHL. Last year Seattle didn’t have its own AHL team, as it shared the Charlotte Checkers with the Florida Panthers, so this will be the first time the Kraken have an affiliate of their own. Among the players who were Seattle’s top AHLers last year were goaltender Joey Daccord, forwards Kole Lind and Alex True, and defenseman Cale Fleury.

The Firebirds will also bring star power and trailblazers among its coaching staff. Head coach Dan Bylsma guided the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins to the Stanley Cup championship in 2009, while assistant coach Jessica Campbell is set to become the first female coach in AHL history.

When the Wranglers come to town, they’ll likely be bringing a strong contingent of former Silvertips with them. Everett legend Mitch Love was the team’s head coach last season when it was based in Stockton, California, earning the AHL Coach of the Year award for guiding the then-Heat to a 45-16-7 record and a spot in the Western Conference finals of the Calder Cup playoffs. Meanwhile, former Tips star goaltender Dustin Wolf was named the AHL Goaltender of the Year after going 33-9-4 with a 2.35 goals against average and .924 save percentage with Stockton last season.

Silvertips season ticket and package holders will get first crack at tickets to the AHL game, with the pre-sale date being announced in the coming days. Tickets go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. next Monday.

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