December 20, 2014

St. Louis Blues move minor league affiliation to Chicago

The St. Louis Blues have entered into a three-year agreement with the the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League. The Blues were affiliated with the Peoria Rivermen and actually owned the minor league affiliate. The Wolves are independently owned, so the move will save the Blues on annual operating costs.

The Vancouver Canucks, who were affiliated in Chicago, will swap and move to Peoria.

The Wolves play their home games at All State Arena, located in suburban Rosemont. (Sidenote, that was the same town that tried to lure the Chicago Cubs to build a new ballpark in their town if the club couldn’t secure a new deal with the city for Wrigley Field improvements.)

The Wolves will celebrate their 20th season in existence next season and during some of the Blackhawks lean years when they failed to make the playoffs, the Wolves would outdraw the Hawks in home game attendance. All State Arena seats 16,690 for hockey, the United Center seats 20,500.

This almost becomes a conflict of interest for Chicago hockey fans. Many Hawks fans also pull for the Wolves, so now there may be Chicago fans cheering for a Wolves player one week, then may be booing him the next if he’s called up by the Blues.