The Capitals and Hershey Bears are in talks to renew their affiliation agreement which expires at the end of this season, according to Hershey's vice president of hockey operations Bryan Helmer. Helmer was extremely complimentary of the relationship between Hershey and Washington and sounded optimistic that both sides would be able to reach a deal in the neat future.
"[The affiliation agreement is] up after this season," Helmer said in a video conference on Tuesday. "It's ongoing talks right now. The relationship that we have with Washington, it's probably the best it's ever been. Both sides are very happy with each other and talks have been going really well so hopefully we get something done here soon."
The remainder of the AHL season was canceled on Monday moving the Bears into their offseason. With the team now trying to plan ahead for who to build the roster for next season, Helmer noted he was in talks with the Caps regarding player contracts.
CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE CAPITALS TALK PODCAST
"That's an ongoing discussion with myself and the Washington Capitals about who we'd like to bring back and when is that time that we can bring them back or even negotiate new contracts," Helmer said.
It is worth noting that if the Bears are talking with the Caps regarding player contracts for next season, then both sides are operating under the assumption that they will be able to reach a new agreement. This is a positive sign.
Just when free agency will officially begin is anyone's guess as the NHL continues to try to figure out if and when it may be able to finish the 2019-20 season. But Helmer said there was no sense of urgency to get a new deal done in order to move forward with current player contracts or to look ahead towards free agency.
The future of the 2019-20 season remains very murky for Washington, but it certainly seems as if a new deal with Hershey is all but certain.
"We're moving forward with talks and they're going really well," Helmer said. "We'll hopefully have something done here soon and get some good back into hockey announcing something like that. We'll see. The relationship right now is so good that we're on good terms and everything at this point is going smooth."
Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.
MORE CAPITALS NEWS:
- Another save:[embed]https://www.nbcsports.com/washington/capitals/holtbys-help-save-kitten-woodrow-wilson-bridgeHoltbys rescue kitten
- Outdoor games: Caps best moments
- Ready to go: Dillon wants to play, thinks NHL will