Though neither team will confirm the news, reports indicate that the Chicago Wolves could become the AHL affiliate of the Vegas Golden Knights.
With the debut of the Golden Knights in the NHL set for this fall, planning for the team’s first season is already well under way. One of the key priorities in filling out the organization will be in determining where to place the club’s affiliates, and the Wolves are reportedly being eyed by the team as a fit for the AHL.
The Wolves, who play out of Allstate Arena in Rosemont, are currently affiliated with the St. Louis Blues. The Las Vegas Review-Journal states that a pairing of the Wolves and the Golden Knights could take place before next season, but representatives from both teams declined to confirm the possibility.
In a trend that has been increasingly evident in recent years, more NHL teams based in western states are placing their AHL affiliates closer to their home base. Many have taken the initiative to own their affiliate, but the Golden Knights do not own a club in the league, thus making a fit with a western team unlikely. That could leave Chicago as one of the team’s best options. More from the Review-Journal:
The Knights might like to be closer to their home base of Las Vegas but the only Pacific Division AHL team that is not owned by an NHL team is the San Antonio Rampage, which is owned by the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs. Foley confirmed there have not been discussions with that team.
Logistically, it may not be an ideal arrangement. But it is only for a couple of years until the Knights can fully stock their own roster. The Knights expect to only have seven or eight players with their AHL team the first year and flying nonstop from Chicago to Las Vegas is around four hours. If the Knights are on the road, it may be even quicker to call up a player, depending where the parent team is.
The Wolves and the Blues have been affiliated since 2013.