The Winnipeg Jets have shifted their ECHL farm team to Florida from Oklahoma for the 2017-18 season.

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The Winnipeg Jets have shifted their ECHL farm team to Florida from Oklahoma for the 2017-18 season.

The Jets and Jacksonville IceMen announced a partnership Thursday. The IceMen are an expansion franchise, having received ECHL membership in February. Winnipeg placed nine players with their ECHL affiliate in Tulsa, Okla., last season. Jason Christie, who served as head coach of the Tulsa Oilers, will perform in the same capacity with the IceMen.

The IceMen begin their 72-game regular season at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena Oct. 14 against the Orlando Solar Bears.

"We are pleased to embark on our partnership with the Jacksonville IceMen," said Craig Heisinger, senior vice-president and director of hockey operations/assistant general manager of the Jets.

"The commitment the IceMen ownership has to winning on and off the ice has been unquestioned. We have enjoyed a long and successful relationship with their head coach Jason Christie and look forward to him continuing to coach our prospects, as well as add to his ECHL record as the winningest coach in ECHL history."

Christie has long-standing ties to the Jets organization and has worked with the organization in Ontario. He has the most wins as coach in ECHL history, holding a 547-349-111 record in 14 seasons.

"We are excited to launch our team with the Winnipeg organization," said IceMen president Bob Ohrablo.

"In addition to a strong commitment to development, the Winnipeg organization has successful ties to our vice president of hockey operations/head coach Jason Christie, who has been integral in player development for both the Jets and Moose in the past while accumulating the winningest coaching record in ECHL history."

Mike Sawatzky

Mike Sawatzky
Reporter

Mike has been working on the Free Press sports desk since 2003.

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