SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — The Savannah Ghost Pirates will affiliate with the Vegas Golden Knights and will hire Rick Bennett as the squad’s head coach. The Ghost Pirates’ AHL affiliate will be the Henderson Silver Knights.
“We have confidence that the Ghost Pirate’s NHL/AHL partnership with the Vegas Knights organization will provide us with a successful and hardworking team,” said Ghost Pirates president Bob Ohrablo. “The reception we have received from the Savannah community has been overwhelming. Our goal was to sign an affiliation with a premier NHL franchise. With this announcement we can say that we’ve accomplished this.”
Head Coach Rick Bennett has been the head coach at Union College for over a decade and has been with the team for 17 years. Along with his 22 years of coaching experience, Bennett finished with a 168-126-41 record. Bennett won an NCCA title in 2014 and three regular-season Eastern College Athletic College titles and three conference titles.
Bennett would not make any promises as far as the team’s success goes, but did express gratitude for getting the job and promised the team would be proud to represent the Hostess City.
“Our staff will put together a team that competes and takes a lot of pride in wearing that jersey. That Ghost Pirates jersey and is also involved in this community,” Bennett said. “So I look forward to meeting all of you and putting a product on the ice that you’re all proud of.”
Mayor Van Johnson introduced the hype video that revealed the name of both affiliates.
“My only stipulation was that we had a team that won because we are a city of champions,” Johnson said.
The Ghost Pirates are set to hit the ice at the Enmarket Arena on Nov. 5.
“We are proud to be sending our players to develop with the Savannah organization,” said Tim Speltz, the general manager of the Henderson Silver Knights who will be heavily involved in running the hockey operations of the Ghost Pirates. “Savannah has opened their arms to professional hockey and we are excited about being an important part of this.”