Wolves lose Golden Knights affiliation

By Jim den Hollander



The Chicago Wolves can empathize with a player traded frequently of the course of their careers.

The Las Vegas Golden Knights have already left the building in Rosemont, Ill, joining the trend of teams moving their American Hockey League (AHL) affiliates a little closer to home. The Knights will take over the San Antonio Rampage franchise, renaming the team, Henderson Silver Knights.

As a result, the Wolves once again finds itself looking for an NHL affiliate and while there has been speculation the Carolina Hurricanes will be the next parent team, there has been no official announcement.

Since moving en-masse with several teams from the former International Hockey League (IHL) in 2001, the Wolves have had something of a revolving door when it comes to parent NHL team affiliation.

The Wolves started out as the affiliate for the Atlanta Thrashers and that partnership lasted a decade, until 2011 when the Thrashers relocated to Winnipeg and the Jets decided to have the St. John’s IceCaps as an affiliate squad. The Jets have also ultimately brought the farm squad closer, in fact the Manitoba Moose actually plays out of the same arena.

Following that was a two-season affiliation with the Vancouver Canucks and the St. Louis Blues became the parent team in 2013.They lasted another three years before the Blues were replaced by the expansion Golden Knights.

The Blues were without an AHL affiliate for a season and sent some players to the Wolves for one more season.

The partnership with the Golden Knights was a successful one and resulted in a trip to the AHL Calder Cup finals in its first season. Ironically, the team that defeated the Wolves in the championship round that season was the Charlotte Checkers – the team that likely will call Chicago home soon.

It is not clear at this time if an arrangement will be made in time for the 2020-21 AHL season.

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