The affiliation agreement between the Vancouver Canucks and Chicago Wolves expire at the end of the season, but the Wolves are hoping it gets extended.
Speaking with News 1130, Wolves general manager Wendell Young said he has spoken with Canucks management regarding the possibility of extending their affiliation agreement. He says a decision will need to be made soon and the Wolves would “love” to continue the relationship.
Young says he talks with Van management about new deal and realizes a call has to be made soon either way. Would love to re-sign with Van.
— News1130 Sports (@News1130Sports) December 4, 2012
The Canucks signed a two-year affiliation agreement with the Wolves in June 2011 after the Manitoba Moose relocated to St. John’s to become the IceCaps and the Winnipeg Jets minor league affiliate.
The Wolves were also left without an affiliate after the Atlanta Thrashers became the Jets. All other teams, in both the National Hockey League and American Hockey League, had affiliation agreements in place already, so it was only logical these two became affiliates.
However, according to Young, other NHL teams were willing to abandon their agreements to sign on with the Wolves.
Wolves general manager Wendell Young said the organization was approached by several NHL teams, but the Canucks best matched the Wolves’ criteria, which included having an affiliate with a good corps of players and a desire to develop in a winning atmosphere.
“We were the pretty girl, and everyone was trying to get us to the prom,” Young said of the pursuit. “Our franchise is known in the hockey world because we take care of our players and do whatever we can to enhance their careers.”
The Canucks were not about to let another team snatch up the Wolves and be stuck with one of the lesser-quality teams after a model relationship with the Moose for a decade. In the past two years, the Canucks have had the opportunity to explore their options—specifically an agreement with the Abbotsford Heat.
It was too tricky for the Canucks to sign an agreement with the Heat back in 2011 since the Calgary Flames own them. The Canucks would have to purchase the Heat. It was not possible to complete a deal in a few weeks and have AHL Board of Governors approval.
Photo Credit: Ross Dettman/Chicago Wolves via TheAHL/Flickr