The Tampa Bay Lightning entered into a one-year affiliation agreement with the Brampton Beast of the Central Hockey League (CHL) in August 2013. The Beast join the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch and the ECHL’s Florida Everblades as Tampa Bay affiliates.
The Beast are a professional ice hockey team based in Brampton, Ontario. The team is set to begin its inaugural season in 2013-14 out of the Powerade Centre, a 5,000-seat arena in Brampton, located northwest of Toronto. As the first and only Canadian member in the league, the Beast will join nine other minor-professional CHL teams in the United States.
The Lightning previously held an affiliation with the CHL’s Colorado Eagles during the 2009-10 season.
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Mark DeSantis - Head Coach
Mark DeSantis is a Canadian retired professional ice hockey defenceman. He is currently the head coach for the Brampton Beast of the Central Hockey League (CHL).
DeSantis, who originally hails from Brampton, spent the past season as head coach of the Fayetteville FireAntz of the Southern Professional Hockey League.
Winning Coach of the Year honors, he led his team to an impressive 35-18-0-3 record for a 0.652 win percentage, good enough for first place in the league at the end of the 52 game regular season.
DeSantis is also familiar with the Central Hockey League, having eight years of playing experience to go along with three seasons as assistant coach of the Rapid City Rush from 2009/10 to 2011/12 and two seasons as a captain/assistant coach of Amarillo Gorillas prior. He won the championship with Rapid City in 2010, and was team Rapid City in 2010, and was team captain for several years while in the CHL.
Brent Hughes - Assistant Coach
Hughes brings an extensive background in hockey, both playing and coaching, and is also highly familiar with the Central Hockey League.
Hughes' playing career in the Central Hockey League began in 2003 with the Austin Ice Bats. He additionally played for the Amarillo Gorillas and the Colorado Eagles before continuing his career overseas in the UK. He and Head Coach Mark Desantis have a history together as they played and lived together while in Amarillo.
This will be Hughes' first stint coaching professional hockey in North America. While in the UK, his leadership skills were apparent as he was appointed player-assistant coach of the Dundee Stars. One short season later, he was promoted to player-head coach. His most recent coaching experience was with a minor league team in North York, Ontario.
Follow the Brampton Beast on Twitter to get up to the minute news on Bolts prospects and more.More Info
Visit the Brampton Beast website to see game and community news, plus updates on players in the Lightning system.More Info