Conacher named Rampage's head coach

Updated: June 30, 2005, 6:24 PM ET
Associated Press

SUNRISE, Fla. -- The Florida Panthers sold their interest in the San Antonio Rampage, a franchise that will become the AHL affiliate of the Phoenix Coyotes.

Spurs Sports & Entertainment in San Antonio obtained full ownership of the Rampage, who signed a multiyear affiliation deal with the Coyotes.

"We look forward to working with the entire Coyotes organization, one that is closer geographically to San Antonio," SS&E vice president Rick Pych said Thursday.

The Panthers will announce next season's affiliation agreements at a later date.

"We've enjoyed our relationship with Spurs Sports and Entertainment over the last three years and wish them the best," Panthers general manager Mike Keenan said.

The Rampage will be Phoenix's sole AHL farm team, filling a void created when the Utah Grizzlies suspended operations and severed their ties with the Coyotes last month. On June 14, Utah dropped into the less expensive East Coast Hockey League.

San Antonio offers an ideal replacement, Coyotes general manager Mike Barnett said.

"San Antonio is perfectly located to our parent team in Phoenix," Barnett said. "It has an NHL-quality arena and the organization has a wealth of experienced sports executives."

Barnett named Pat Conacher and Gord Dineen as the Rampage's head coach and assistant coach, the same positions they held with Utah.

Phoenix assistant general manager Laurence Gilman will be the Rampage's general manager.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press