The Chicago Wolves will no longer be the AHL affiliate of the St. Louis Blues anymore. Instead, the Amtrak Rivals are embarking on a new adventure alongside the latest expansion to the NHL: the Vegas Golden Knights. The agreement begins for the 2017-18 season and was announced as a multi-year deal between the Knights and Wolves.
Press Release via Vegas Golden Knights:
VEGAS (May 16, 2017) – Vegas Golden Knights General Manager George McPhee announced today, May 16, that the club has entered into a multi-year affiliation relationship with the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League, making the Wolves the official AHL affiliate of the Vegas Golden Knights. Under the terms of the affiliation arrangements, the Golden Knights will be able to transfer players to and from Chicago during the 2017-18 season.
“American Hockey League affiliates play a significant role in the success of all NHL clubs and are we are proud to have the Chicago Wolves as our first in team history,” said Vegas Golden Knights General Manager George McPhee. “I would like to thank Don Levin, Wendell Young and the rest of the Wolves organization for their commitment to the game and helping young hockey players grow to reach their full potential as professionals. Chicago is without question one of the strongest, most passionate hockey communities in North America. This is a relationship that we truly believe will be mutually beneficial.”
“If you look at George McPhee’s history, he has always been a general manager who believes that winning is an important part of developing players,” said Wolves owner Don Levin. “Professional playoffs are different than the regular season and he understands that and he wants his players to be ready to win.”
The Wolves finished first in the 2016-17 Central Division and made it to the second round of the Calder Cup playoffs before falling to the Grand Rapids Griffins. The team finished with its best regular-season winning percentage (.664) since 2008. The Golden Knights’ first signee, Reid Duke, joined the Wolves on April 7 after signing a professional tryout contract.
The Wolves will be the primary affiliate of the Golden Knights.
Founded as part of the International Hockey League in 1994, the Chicago Wolves have enjoyed two decades of consistent success on the ice as home to some of the most prominent names in American hockey, like Chris Chelios, Troy Murray and Rob Brown. When the IHL folded in 2001, the franchise joined the AHL.
About American Hockey League Affiliates
An American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate is an NHL organization’s highest level of minor league affiliation.
Throughout the season, AHL players will be promoted (“recalled”) to the partner NHL club for a number of reasons. If an NHL player is injured, the team may recall a player from the AHL to temporarily take his place. They can then be sent back down to the minors (“assigned”) for a variety of reasons as well, including when an injured NHL player returns to full health.
Every NHL team has its own affiliate in the AHL, from where more than 88 percent of active NHL players are graduates.
The Vegas Golden Knights are a National Hockey League franchise owned and operated by Black Knight Sports and Entertainment LLC. The Vegas Golden Knights were established by founding partners William Foley and his family and the Maloof family. For the latest news and information on the Golden Knights visit vegasgoldenknights.com. Fans can follow the team on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.
Press Release via Chicago Wolves:
GLENVIEW, Ill. — The Chicago Wolves announced Tuesday that the organization has signed a multi-year partnership with the Vegas Golden Knights, the National Hockey League’s expansion franchise that begins play in 2017-18.
The Wolves, who have earned four league championships, and the Golden Knights have forged an alliance based on their shared belief that winning is a crucial component of the American Hockey League experience. Vegas general manager George McPhee and Wolves owner Don Levin have it written into the teams’ agreement that the goal is to win championships at the AHL level.
“If you look at George McPhee’s history, he has always been a general manager who believes that winning is an important part of developing players,” Levin said. “Professional playoffs are different than the regular season and he understands that and he wants his players to be ready to win.”
During the nine seasons when McPhee served as the Washington Capitals’ GM and the Hershey Bears worked with the Capitals (2005-14), Hershey captured three Calder Cup championships.
“American Hockey League affiliates play a significant role in the success of all NHL clubs and are we are proud to have the Chicago Wolves as our first in team history,” McPhee said. “I would like to thank Don Levin, Wendell Young and the rest of the Wolves organization for their commitment to the game and helping young hockey players grow to reach their full potential as professionals. Chicago is without question one of the strongest, most passionate hockey communities in North America. This is a relationship that we truly believe will be mutually beneficial.”
The Golden Knights have just two players under contract — rookie forward Reid Duke, who spent the final five weeks of the 2016-17 season practicing with the Wolves, and Russian center Vadim Shipachyou — but that will change rapidly as McPhee and his hockey operations staff are in the final stages of preparation for the NHL Expansion Draft (June 18-21) and the NHL Entry Draft (June 23-24 in Chicago).
“We’re starting from the ground up with a new franchise,” said Wolves general manager Wendell Young. “It will be exciting to build both franchises together with the same philosophy.”
The Wolves captured the 2017 Central Division title — their fourth division crown in the last eight years — as the franchise enjoyed its finest regular-season showing (101 points) in seven seasons. The Wolves also reached the Central Division Finals during the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs.
The Wolves have multiple ticket packages available for the 2017-18 season, including the opportunity to Call Dibs on a season-ticket seat for just $25. Click here for more information or call 1-800-THE-WOLVES.
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