Nashville Predators officials say it over and over again: The road to Nashville goes through Milwaukee.
Almost overlooked is Cincinnati, which is the detour.
The Predators announced Tuesday that they have renewed their affiliation with the Cincinnati Cyclones of the East Coast Hockey League. That franchise serves as Nashville’s secondary developmental outlet to the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League.
Two players who appeared in games with the Predators last season — forwards Kevin Henderson and Chris Mueller — played for Cincinnati at one point in their careers. Also in 2012-13, four recent draft picks including second-rounders Charles Oliver-Roussel (2009), a defenseman, and goalie Magnus Hellberg (2011) spent time with the Cyclones.
Milwaukee has served as Nashville’s AHL affiliate since the Predators’ inaugural season, 1998-99. Cincinnati has been the secondary developmental since 2007-08 and since then has made the playoffs all six seasons and won two ECHL championships.
“We look forward to continuing to work with such a class organization that creates a winning environment for our players to develop,” Predators Assistant General Manager Paul Fenton said in a statement released by the team. “Led by Jarrod Skalde, the Cyclones have been a model of consistency the past six seasons and have been critical to the success of the Milwaukee Admirals and the Nashville Predators.”