CHICAGO, Ill. – With the sale of the Peoria Rivermen franchise by St. Louis Blues to the Vancouver Canucks organization, it left the Chicago Wolves without a parent club. It also left the Blues without one. There were plenty of teams ringing Wolves General Manager Wendell Young phone where the Blues ended up as the proud parents of a franchise that has a similar philosophy in the success of their teams. The Wolves have entered a three-year agreement with the Blues and will celebrate the franchise’s 20th Anniversary in the 2013-14 season.
This year was the last year of a two-year agreement that the Wolves had with the Canucks. Things started to shake when the city of Utica, NY approached the Calgary Flames in regards of moving their farm team from Abbotsford, British Columbia. Then the Canucks steps in and would love to move into Abbotsford where the proximity enables the team to save dollars in player movement and scouting since both are in the same province. The Wolves agreement works well in distance as Chicago is a quick 300 miles away to and from St. Louis.
Tensions seemed to arise as we got deeper into this season as the Wolves failed to make it in to the Calder Cup Playoffs. Both the Wolves and Canucks let it be known that each wanted control of how the Wolves should be run and what players to play. The Wolves are known as a team that wants to win all the time and not be known as a team in a developmental league for which the American Hockey League is.
One thorn that just popped up is that Calgary will stay for one more season as they are still trying to iron things out with their contracts in Abbotsford. That leaves Vancouver with nowhere to go.
People always wondered why the Wolves just don’t make an agreement with the team that is only 40 minutes away. Well the Wolves evolved back in the 1994 season and took off from there when the NHL had their work stoppage. It left a bitter taste in a lot of the fans mouths and the way that the team was being run shut most of them out. The Wolves owners were also die-hard fans and season ticket holders. This “rivalry” has lasted this long and the ice started to break when Rocky Wirtz took over the team after his father passed away and started to make things right. Hockey seemed to be a hot bed in Chicago once again as the Blackhawks marched to their first Stanley Cup in generations in 2010. Eventually the Hawks settled into Rockford which is only and hour and a half away.