As per their website, the Wolves have announced an affiliation agreement with the Vancouver Canucks through the 2012-2013 season.
Let me pretend to be surprised.
It was a logical conclusion, much as it pains me to admit it, and it really has been just a few days of waiting for it to become official. Both teams’ statements on the matter were much along the lines of, “we’re awesome and we’re winners and want to keep being awesome and winning together,” which is as expected–even if there is a little bit of, “well, continuing to rearrange the entire AHL was kind of a hot mess so we figured this would work” underneath it all. Regardless of how or even why, the bottom line is that the baby Canucks are going to play in Chicago for the next two seasons.
Now, I’m not “breaking these news,” really, because the announcement came hours ago and I’m sure you’ve already heard. Rather, I’m giving the matter some thought: what is this going to mean for Chicago hockey? For Runs On Duncan? For poor little Wolves fans such as myself whose team is going to get relocated to Saint John’s, Newfoundland (birthplace of one of my closest friends and a wonderful place but OH SO FAR you guys)?
The answer is: mostly good things. For Chicago hockey, the rivalry between the Wolves and IceHogs just got kicked up a notch. The Wolves will continue to have talent and — barring a complete coaching meltdown — will continue to be Calder Cup contenders for years to come. And, well. They’ll also get their fair share of trolling the Blackhawks, which I’m sure they won’t mind one bit. For Runs On Duncan, this means more divided loyalties than ever. The Wolves will still be our team because they’re a Chicago team, but the moment one of them goes up to the big team, you can expect we’ll fill our cups with Haterade and put the lasers on blast. (Oh, wait, maybe that’s just me.)
And for Wolves fans? Â The answer isn’t quite so clear. I expect a lot of us will be following St. John’s team because of our boys who will be gone. Those of us who ardently dislike the Canucks will have to learn to distinguish between big Canucks and baby Canucks for the fate of our sanity. And, well. We can always hope that our dear Captain Krogger (whose contact isn’t with the former-Thrashers-now-Jets but rather with the Wolves themselves) doesn’t get signed to a two-way contract by Winnipeg and stays with us. Selfish, yeah, but can the Wolves still be the Wolves if we lose Krog? I guess time will tell.