NHL Franchise is placing their bets on the Chicago Wolves for player development starting 2017
It looks like Chicago will be playing a bigger developmental role for the Vegas Golden Knights that originally thought. It was announced on May 16th the Chicago Wolves will be the AHL affiliate the for newly developed NHL franchise. Set to be a five-year relationship, both teams are looking forward to creating champions among their young players. “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,” stated Wolves general manager Don Levin. A statement that is not taken lightly as general managers for both teams has put into writing their primary goal is to win championships.
The Wolves had a strong season ending with an impressive 44 wins and 19 losses, helping to grab the attention of Golden Knights GM. “Chicago is without a question one of the strongest, most passionate hockey communities in North America,” Vegas general manager George McPhee stated. “This is a relationship that we truly believe will be mutually beneficial.”
This may not necessarily be only on ice success. It also helps create some excitement, if not curiosity around the team for local fans of the sport. Although hard to swallow when cheering for a Chicago team with ties to NHL affiliates like the Vancouver Canucks and St. Louis Blues, having the freshmen team utilize their players could draw peaking interest in what their development squad is working on. Even after the Expansion Draft and Entry Draft in late June, it may be surprising who fans will get the opportunity to see on the ice as both teams go through the changes. General manager Wendell Young shares in the enthusiasm, “We’re starting from the ground up with a new franchise,” he said. “It will be exciting to build both franchises together with the same philosophy.” Only time will tell how successful either team will be in the 2017-2018 season, but there is no doubt hockey in Chicago keep getting exciting.