Saturday, Jul 18 2009 09:56 PM

Ducks affiliation likely to be renewed

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    By Henry A. Barrios

    Las Vegas' #28 Scott McCulloch, left, and Bakersfield Condors' Chad Painchaud battle to control the puck in a playoff game in Bakersfield.

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BY MIKE GRIFFITH, Californian staff writer

Nothing has been finalized but Condors president Matthew Riley said the team is likely to renew its affiliation with the Anaheim Ducks.

The Condors secured their first affiliation with a National Hockey League team last year, a one-year deal with the Ducks put together by then Anaheim general manager Brian Burke.

But Burke, who showed up for Bakersfield's home-opener last October, was gone in mid-November as he left the Ducks to take a similar position in Toronto. Burke's opening-night visit was the last by anyone in the Ducks organization to Bakersfield last season and by the time the season ended the relationship, at least on the hockey side, was a bit strained.

"There are pluses and minuses with everything and there were more pluses than minuses last year," said Riley, who met recently with the Ducks hierarchy in Anaheim. "People focus on the negative, but there was good in (the affiliation) last year."

And with one year of getting-to-know-you already in the books, Riley said said trying to work out the kinks could be better than starting all over.

"We have talked with other teams, but we've been (with the Ducks) one year and we have that to go off," he said. "We had a productive meeting and are headed toward being back with them.

"Everybody was pretty agreeable and we're all on the same page. We talked about the things we need to do to make it better for both of us. It's basically just fine tuning and having better lines of communication."

Riley said he hoped to be able to announce an affiliation by August.

The Condors open ECHL play in mid-October.

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