The AHL is a thirty team league, which serves as the primary development and recruitment circuit for the National Hockey League. Therefore, since the 2010-2011 Season, every AHL team needs to be affiliated with a NHL franchise. As of the 2013-2014 Season, the Chicago Wolves will be associated with the St. Louis Blues.
The franchise was formed in 1994, when Don Levin, Grant Mulvey and Buddy Meyers were granted franchise rights by the International Hockey League to form a team in Chicago. The team was named as the Chicago Wolves, and the home arena was chosen to be Rosemont Horizon (now called the Allstate Arena).
As members of the IHL, the Wolves enjoyed years of consistent success, as they produced some of the leagues greatest players, like Rob Brown, Troy Murray and Chris Chelios. They never suffered a losing season in their seven years in the league, and were able to win the biggest prize the league had to offer, the Turner Cup, twice: once in 1998 and the second time in 2000.
Following the IHL’s dissolution in 2001, the franchise, along with five other surviving teams, moved to the American Hockey League. It was thought the new teams would have problems at first, since both leagues fielded different teams and had a different talent pool.
But the Wolves proved these doubts wrong, and slowly started dominating the league. They won the biggest prize in the AHL, the Calder Cup, in just their second season in the League and repeated the feat once again in 2008. The team’s good run was propelled by star players like Brett Sterling and Darren Haydar.
The team’s record of never posting a losing season still remains intact, making the Wolves one of those unique teams who have never yet posted a losing season ever since their inception. Along with that, except for four occasions, the team has qualified for the post season every year, and has made it to the league championship finals six times, out of which they have won four titles.
The team’s main rivalry is with the Rockford IceHogs, who play in the same division as the Wolves. Interestingly, the Wolves belong to the same metropolitan area as the NHL team, the Chicago Blackhawks, but are not the team’s AHL affiliate; rather it is the Wolves’ rivals, the IceHogs who are affiliated with the Blackhawks.
But on the other side, from this season onwards, the Wolves are going to be affiliated with the NHL team, the St. Louis Blues, who are the Blackhawk’s rivals in their respective division. This makes the current season even more interesting, since the IceHogs and the Wolves have now a more strong “rival” connection.
Chicago Wolves tickets will allow you to catch all the amazing action from the Wolves’ matchups in the AHL, and you can watch the team continue its pursuit for the elusive fifth national league title.